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Project Report:
Equity Impacts of Clean Energy Policy Design
Purpose
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.

Summary

Good Energy Collective (GEC) will analyze the effects of clean energy policies on energy prices to further understand the impact on inequality and the short-term feasibility of decarbonization policies in a period of growing inflationary concerns. In tandem, GEC will analyze the effects on marginalized communities of insufficient baseload energy resources and how different energy policies may be eroding reliability.

CA: Impacts of 5 Policy Types on Equity and Affordability

Description

A retrospective analysis of Californian clean energy policies and equity found that even as the state is a global clean energy leader, its grid faces pressing issues that serve as warnings for future policy development. While California has decreased its emissions and reduced its air pollution burdens, its residents - especially low-income and minority households - face severe and unjustly distributed price hikes; an erosion of safety; and poor reliability.

An analysis of utility structuring and regulation in Georgia found a number of issues surrounding grid management and improper accountability mechanisms. The study highlights the construction of two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle. The report found that households in Georgia experienced significant rate increases as a result of the construction. A number of procedural injustices are explored, including the disbanding of a consumer's utility commission and undemocratic election structures that have diluted power of minority community members.

The California case study, and the Georgia Case Study are attached. The Texas case study is underway, and is on track for completion by late winter 2024.

Purpose

This project will meet the goals of the Walker Foundation by investigating causes of impairment to the free-market system through inefficient or counterproductive clean energy incentives and tax schemes, and the effect that such policies have on rising energy costs and income inequality. Further, our state-level and national analyses will investigate the extent to which such policies reduce grid resiliency and reliability, and how the reduced capacity of baseload power places a disproportionate economic burden on low-income communities.

Scope

This analysis will proceed in two phases: The first phase, to be supported by the Walker Foundation, will synthesize the existing literature and assess the equity implications of taxation policies in California, Texas, and Georgia—states which at the state and municipal levels have implemented a disparate set of decarbonization policies to different effect. The second phase, to be funded through grant renewals with other GEC philanthropic funders, will expand these three case studies out to a national analysis that identifies the effect of climate policies on energy prices and inequality.


In both project phases, any comprehensive case studies we conduct in service of the report may focus on either the state or municipal level. However, an understanding of energy prices as a driver of inflation will require some broader analysis of global trends in supply, and how they interact with U.S. policies.

Information Dissemination

We will collate the results of our research into a formal research report with an executive summary and, if necessary, develop one or more additional fact sheets or other shareables that make the findings accessible to our policymaker audience. Once the report is finalized, over the following weeks, we will present our findings to our growing list of subscribers and contacts in the U.S. Congress and the Biden-Harris administration, as well as with our civil society allies and our growing network of environmental
justice organizations. Specific targets for outreach will include, but will not be limited to, Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Sean Casten (D-IL), Donald McEachin (D-VA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Peter Welch
(D-VT), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Scott Peters (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Brian Schatz (D-
HI), and Chris Coons (D-DE).

Amount Approved
$60,000.00 on 6/29/2022 (Check sent: 7/19/2022)



Attachments
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CA: Impacts of 5 Policy Types on Equity and Affordability
Good Energy Collective - California Energy Equity and Affordability Case Study (PDF)
Good Energy Collective - Georgia Energy Equity and Affordability Case Study.pdf (PDF)

Location
Laurel Walk
Goleta, CA 93117


Phone
(510) 853-4792

Contacts


Jackie Toth
Deputy Director, Good Energy Collective
Jessica Lovering
Executive Director, Good Energy Collective

Posted 3/22/2022 5:04 PM
Updated   1/12/2024 1:03 PM

  • Nonprofit

© 2024 Alex C. Walker Foundation