Zero emissions impact from Delaware energy Policy
Center for Energy & Environmental Policy
June 28, 2022
Governor Carney set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 26% from 2005 levels by 2025. A 2019 federal emission inventory shows emissions are down 23.6%, but that reduction is based on shifting emissions elsewhere and lower natural gas prices.
Delaware legislated emission taxes, mandates, and subsidies for wind and solar power and energy efficiency together have had zero impact on global emissions. If we couldn't accomplish any emission reduction over the last 17 years, why are we setting even higher emission reduction targets of 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 in Senate Bill 305?
Electric generation emissions dropped 4.5 million tons, while all other sectors of the economy grew by a net 0.3 million tons for a net reduction of 4.2 million metric tons. Several factors contributed to shifting those emissions out of Delaware:
- In-state electric generation fell 35%, shifting 1.7 million metric tons to other states.
- The Delaware City Refinery switched from petroleum coke to natural gas but sent the petroleum coke to China for use in electric generation shifting 0.8 million metric tons out of the country.
- Energy intense manufacturing left the state shifting 0.7 million metric tons to other states and countries, which also increased electric transmission line losses up 0.2 million metric tons.
- Low-priced natural gas shifted generation from higher emission coal saving 0.6 million metric tons.
- Low capacity at remaining coal plants lowered efficiency adding 0.2 million metric tons.
Unfortunately, Delaware's failed energy policy came at a cost. Delmarva Power electric bills have line items for a Green Energy Fund, wind & solar subsidies, Qualified Fuel Cells, and Energy Efficiency that total $10.15/month for an average customer using 975 KWh/month.
In addition, there is a hidden carbon tax, but in Virginia, the tax is shown on electric bills at $6.67/month. The total residential cost of Delaware's energy policy is about $200/year and is rising.
SB 305 sets emission reduction requirements that are unlikely to be met, but require state action and appears to delegate authority to state agencies to implement actions with no input from the legislature once the bill is passed.
Those actions could include ideas borrowed from California, such as only allowing the sale of expensive electric vehicles, banning the use of natural gas and propane in buildings, and subsidizing offshore wind that could add $400 to $500 a year to electric bills.
SB310 establishes an Energy Advisory Council, which should be approved. The first priority for the Council should be to establish a realistic state energy plan to be approved by the Delaware legislature. SB 305 needs to be denied until the energy plan is in place.