Electricity Prices Highest on Record for May

Michael W. Chapman | July 2, 2013 | 2:00pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) – The price of electricity in the United States for May was 13.1 cents per kilowatt hour (KWH), which is the highest it has been on record for that month, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which tracks the price going all the way back to 1984.

Thirteen cents per KWH is the highest price for the month of May in 29 years, according to the BLS numbers.

These price data come at a time when President Barack Obama has announced a “new national climate action plan” to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to combat alleged man-made global warming and spend more federal money on “clean energy” projects.

The coal industry, which produces about 45% of the electricity in America is expected to be the hardest hit by the federal regulations, raising its costs and the cost of electricity for consumers. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that Obama’s plan is “a war on America” because the regulatory burden and costs will severely damage the U.S. coal industry.

The Consumer Price Index-Average Price Data at the BLS show that the U.S. city average price of electricity per KWH was 13.1 cents in May 2013, which is the latest month’s price data available. (See here and scroll down to “Electricity per KWH,” then click on the dinosaur icon for historical data chart.)

The BLS numbers show that the price per KWH in May 2012 was 12.9 cents; for May 2011, 12.9 cents; May 2010, 12.7 cents; and May 2009, 12.6 cents.

The price of electricity per KWH, compared with May 2013, was lower for every May going back to 1984, when the BLS data starts.  In that year, the price per KWH was 8.1 cents. Those prices are in nominal numbers, not adjusted for inflation.

The BLS press office confirmed to CNSNews.com that the May 2013 price of 13.1 cents per KWH is the highest price for that month on record.

Back in January 2008, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) boasted about his cap and trade plan to combat global warming, saying, “You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

In a June 27, 2013 speech at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama announced his “national climate action plan.”  In his remarks, the president said, “This plan begins with cutting carbon pollution by changing the way we use energy -- using less dirty energy, using more clean energy, wasting less energy throughout our economy. … Today, about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants. … So today, for the sake of our children, and the health and safety of all Americans, I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.”

On June 25, Sen. Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued a statement concerning President Obama’s plan stating, “[T]he regulations the president wants to force on coal are not feasible. And if it’s not feasible, it’s not reasonable. It’s clear now the president has declared a war on coal. It’s simply unacceptable that one of the key elements of his climate change proposal places regulations on coal that are completely impossible to meet with existing technology."

“The fact is clear: our own Energy Department reports that our country will get 37 percent of our energy from coal until 2040," said Manchin.  "Removing coal from our energy mix will have disastrous consequences for our recovering economy. These policies punish American businesses by putting them at a competitive disadvantage with our global competitors. And those competitors burn seven-eighths of the world’s coal, and they’re not going to stop using coal any time soon.”

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