US Would Crumble Under European-Style Energy Policies, Says Report

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The U.S. would lose more than 7 million jobs if it adopted the kind of energy policies popular in many European countries, according to a report published Friday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The European energy policies would impose a $676 billion drag on the U.S. economy, the report states, and result in Americans paying an extra $4,800 per year to heat their homes.

The price increase would ultimately lead to the loss of several million U.S. jobs, according to the report, which is part of a series of studies conducted by the group leading up to the presidential election. The group compared U.S. and European energy prices between 2008 and 2014.

“The types of policies being advocated by leading candidates, such as restricting energy production and imposing new mandates, would drive up energy prices and reduce America’s global competitiveness,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.

European restrictions on low-cost, existing electricity supply and oil and natural gas supplies, as well as a cascade of subsidies propping up the solar and wind power industries, contribute to the problem in European states, according to Harbert’s group.

The German government, for instance, shovels more than $1.1 trillion into the wind power industry, despite the fact that wind turbines have not actually reduced carbon emissions enough to slow global warming.

Carbon taxes, subsidies, and restrictive policies, the report states, have made Europe almost completely dependent on other countries for 70 percent of its natural gas and 88 percent of its crude oil; whereas the U.S. receives only about 4 percent and 27 percent of gas and oil from foreign countries, respectively.

Energy expenditures would more than double from $583 billion to $1,220 billion under the EU price scenario. This $610 billion increase in costs would directly reduce the amount of money each household has available to spend on goods and services.

The U.S. gross domestic product per capita exploded 13 percent during that period of time, increasing from $48,400 to $54,600, while the EU’s GDP per capita decreased from $37,900 to $36,400.

The Chamber of Commerce report also detailed how those European-style energy policies would affect various states.

The analysis indicates Colorado, for instance, would see an 8 billion drop in economic output under a scenario in which The Centennial State were forced to live under an EU energy price regime. Nearly 90,000 jobs would vanish under such a scheme.

The group’s report is part of a series of studies the group has conducted detailing what the U.S. and the natural gas industry would look like were anti-fossil fuel proponents given the key to power the U.S. energy grid.

The fracking revolution generated more than 4.3 million jobs in the U.S. and injected nearly half a trillion dollars into the economy over the course of the past 10 years, according to another analysis conducted by the group in September. The analysis found that all those jobs would have been lost if environmentalists prevailed in shifting energy policies away from natural gas and toward solar and wind.

The group’s anti-fossil fuel rhetoric that’s permeating this year’s election, would result in the loss of more than 100,000 jobs associated with oil and gas development on federal lands, as well as indirectly impact another 280,000 jobs across the U.S.

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