Texas produces twice as much renewable energy — including wind, solar and other types of power sources — as its heavily regulated competitor California, Forbes reports.
While the energy industry is booming in Texas, where the economy operates on free-market competition, California’s environmentally conscious regulations are financially taxing for citizens of the already expensive state and its ambitious future goals for producing renewable energy.
Texas and California were the first states in the country to introduce electricity market competition in 1996, but California changed its laws in 2001 following a massive energy crisis, which caused an 800-percent increase in electricity retail prices over the course of four months.
After California’s government recruited investors to help fund the restoration of its energy program, the state then made it illegal for its citizens to buy electricity from non-utility providers until it could pay back investors who financed a solution.
Forbes explains, “When California’s government intervened to fix the crisis, the bonds issued and sold to Wall Street investors to pay for the solution included covenants that prohibited the state from reintroducing retail choice until the bonds had been repaid.”
As a result of Calfornia’s quick decision to stop people from purchasing their own electricity and eliminating energy competition throughout the state — on top of its goals to create increasingly renewable and eco-friendly energy technology at high prices and with extensive regulations — the Golden State will only see higher prices for virtually everything.
“California’s electric market labors under detailed mandates imposed by busybody politicians exercising their power to save the world,” Forbes states.
Since 2002, as many as 12 laws or state executive orders detailing specific energy regulations have been implemented in California. The state’s three huge, investor-owned, publicly regulated utilities have completely obliterated all energy competition, which is bad news for consumers because it means fewer options for reasonable electricity costs.
In 2017, California’s retail electric prices were 89-percent higher than those in Texas, where retail electric prices have declined 32 percent over the past 10 years.
So while the Golden State continues to strive for increasingly renewable and eco-friendly energy resources at high prices and with extensive regulations, the competitive renewable energy market in Texas will help to create significant economic growth for years.