California lost 25,000 jobs since 1977, and $1.6 billion in electric power industry income alone, due to its aggressive manipulations of the free market, which required industries to produce goods using less energy.
Awful, horrible regulation. What could be worse?
Not having enacted those regulations, it turns out.
Because the state gained 1.5 million jobs because of regulations that boosted efficiency for appliances and buildings, and workers in the state earned, overall $44.6 billion more.
And, consumers saved money on energy bills.
Those are the results of a new study out of the Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability at the University of California - Berkeley, and detailed in today's New York Times.
Part of the reason the energy-efficiency programs have been so successful, according to the report, is because it shifts consumer spending. When consumer spend less on energy, they tend to spend those dollars on consumer goods and services -- increasing the growth in other industries. And even though electricity rates have gone up in California, consumers still save more because they use less -- about 40% less than the national average.
The report comes at a time when not only California and other states, but the federal government is considering widespread regulations to rein in carbon dioxide emissions and increase energy efficiency. Improving energy efficiency is one of the central tenets of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's energy plan.
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