The enlightened Congress recently passed one of the few consequential pieces of legislation in memory called The Inflation Reduction Act, some would argue this is a misnomer for sure and it is as the old saying goes nothing but smoke and mirrors. President Biden boasts how it will reduce Medicare drug costs, which yes, it is a significant benefit and welcomed by many. Joe Biden claims, “Look how great this is” unless you have private insurance.
But on the energy front it is not so convincing. Many people in the readership area labor hopefully to make a decent living, provide for themselves and their families, in a sense get by, with an occasional splurge like a vacation or a new vehicle. As our president expounds let’s go electric, the Kelly Blue Book indicates due to inflation the average price for a new electric vehicle is now over $66,000.
The president and his green team cohorts perhaps can afford this extravagance but here in the north county it is less likely. Sure, advocates argue the price will come down, while rare earth commodities along with batteries continue to rise in price.
Conversely if one is out and about in rural Pennsylvania, where do you charge your vehicle. More than likely much of the billions funded by the “IRA” for the multiple green energy items will be spent in urban areas of the country. Charging one may be possible at a Sheetz or Walmart but be prepared to a spend an extended amount of time recharging. Gone will be the days of filling up at the gas pump in ten minutes if all things being equal. The bill is over eight hundred pages in length. There is a large portion dedicated to green energy and Investment Tax Credits and how best for investors and businesses to manage various portions of the regulations. However, there is a caveat everyone has to wait for the Treasury Department Guidance expected in 2024. Of course, reviewers all say consult your tax lawyer and accountant. All of this is claimed to reduce inflation. By the way a number of electric vehicles do not qualify for the $ 7,500 dollar rebate incentive to purchase electric. No matter how it is viewed the IRA artificially supports the solar, wind, blue hydrogen and other alternative forms of green energy, while at the same time negatively penalizes fossil fuels including clean natural gas. It is difficult to see this does not adversely raise costs to the consumer. No inflation there. It is not likely solar and wind can provide adequate electric power in Pennsylvania in the foreseeable future. Couple this with the Presidents call to convert homes across the country from gas, oil, wood etc. to electric heat. All this new demand for electricity suggests higher costs, in the way of generation, power storage, and rebuilding the electric transmission grid. Try permitting that, New Hampshire and Maine recently voted no to a new high transmission line from Canada to Massachusetts, on the premise it would negatively impact tourism and only would benefit users in Massachusetts. As the country struggles to power all its air conditioners this summer it is clear there is a need for cost effective reliable electric energy. Pennsylvania is fortunate at the moment to have that kind of energy distribution with over 30 percent of electricity being generated by natural gas. It remains to be seen but majority of indicators show that the IRA would be better titled then Inflation Raise Act,
Things to ponder while we pause on Labor Day to celebrate our individual and combined productive work, as well as how we are asked to pay for our future endeavors while we set our air conditioners at 78 degrees.