The Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University released four studies that highlight the unseen costs of producing coal, natural gas, wind, and solar-generated electricity.

The overall findings of the studies suggest American consumers are often paying considerably more for their electricity by unknowingly financing costly government interventions in the electricity market in the form of subsidies, mandates, and regulations. The double-blind peer reviewed reports focus on four prevalent resources that are used to generate electricity: coal, natural gas, solar, and wind.

Although the reports do not estimate an actual value for the cost of producing electricity from these sources, they do examine the key factors that policymakers often overlook when making decisions about energy policy, such as environmental effects, reliability, and cost effectiveness.


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“In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.”

—Frederic Bastiat, 1848