But the conservative forces haven't given up yet, and they're about to push back at a more local level. Public opinion is against them though.
The Heartland Institute, known for its campaigns to cast doubt about the science of climate change, is now teaming up with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to craft laws repealing state-level renewable energy targets.
So far, 29 states have renewable energy targets in place. And with years of experience, multiple analyses have shown that these laws have had virtually no impact on rate increases. Richard Caperton, a renewable energy finance expert at the Center for American Progress, explained that the studies are based on a number of flawed assumptions. “The Beacon Hill studies arbitrarily choose high-end estimates for the future price of renewables, they wrongly claim there are no environmental benefits to using renewable energy, they ignore the fact that most state targets have price caps built into them, and they ignore the data we already have showing that there is no evidence that state renewable energy targets drive up rates for consumers,” he told Climate Progress.
The non-partisan Energy Information Administration recently modeled the impact of national Renewable Energy Standard and found that it would leave GDP growth virtually unchanged.
Public polling suggests that these groups are on the wrong side of the issue. A recent survey from Harvard, Yale, and the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that Americans would be willing to pay $160 per year more to deploy clean energy. And a pre-election poll showed that 72 percent of swing voters agreed that the government should to more to promote solar energy — illustrating why the millions of dollars in attack ads this campaign season didn’t sway the election.