We don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point The Washington Post dropped all pretense of being an objective news source and became a full fledged advocate for government control of the energy sector. Before Democrats recently enacted strict new ethanol mandates, conservatives and libertarians warned that proposed the market intervention would raise prices, not just for energy, but for other products as well. Now it is becoming clear that those predictions were dead on. Gas and food prices are soaring here at home, and millions are suffering from hunger abroad.
So how does the Washington Post choose to analyze future energy policy decisions? Check out this article on state renewable resource mandates from last week. We do learn that state mandates across the country have “sent utilities scrambling to line up wind and solar projects across the country” and that studies show “state renewable-electricity standards will lead to the addition of 60 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2025, equal to 4.7 percent of projected U.S. electricity generation.” The article even laments “the lack of a national policy because the patchwork of state regulations pushes investment away from some of the most economical wind and solar projects.”
But are all these state government mandates cost free? We don’t know. The article does not contain the word ‘cost’. It doesn’t contain the word ‘price’ either. The article only cheerleads for government mandates and ignores any potential problems they might create. The Los Angeles Times was marginally better with their coverage of California’s mandates last week. Their article includes this warning from California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey: “There’s no free lunch. We have to reduce CO2 by 174 million tons by 2020. But no one wants to face up to the cost. Everyone wants everyone else to pay.”
The LAT is not perfect either though. The same LAT article also reports that Europe’s cap and trade system has had “mixed success.” What is the mixed part? The policy has been a complete failure.