Energy Statistics Often Misleading

Scorching July weather may have many in the Ohio Valley deciding between cranking up the air conditioning and keeping electricity bills within reason, but it turns out consumers in West Virginia and Ohio are running at about the middle of the pack, in terms of nationwide energy costs.

Financial research firm WalletHub analyzed monthly energy bills in all 50 states, and Washington, D.C., using a formula that considered electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil. Ohio ranks 17th, with an average total monthly energy cost of $306; West Virginia was right in the middle at 25th, at an average of $293 per month.         In fact, according to the study, Mountain State residents have the third-lowest electricity costs in the country. That is because of the coal-fired power plants President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to close, of course.

As encouraging as the WalletHub study is for residents of our area, it should be noted the research does not account for the smoke and mirrors in states such as California, which the study says ranks better than our states, with an average monthly cost of $251.

Research published in “Energy Policy” explains California’s shell game. When deregulation and reregulation of its energy markets failed spectacularly, California lawmakers passed a variety of policies that amounted to several layers of subsidies. The abstract for the published research calls California’s subsidies “perverse,” “economically and environmentally unfavorable,” and even a “potential misuse of money.”

One would hope, then, that members of Congress and the administrators of various federal agencies would not be fooled by California’s falsely gained ranking. There is nothing in those numbers that should lend credence to the spouting of people like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who once claimed her cap and trade bill was about “jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs,” because she does not care about the states who would wind up losing even more if her shell game was taken nationwide.

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