While Mayor Nirenberg is declining to attach a cost estimate to the city's controversial Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which is set to be voted on by City Council next week, the Texas Public Policy Foundation is doing it for him, estimating the cost of plan to every San Antonio area household, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"An increased cost per family in the neighborhood of a thousand dollar per year in electricity costs," former State Rep. Jason Isaac, who is now a Senior Fellow at the free market think tank, told a town meeting on the plan at the University of the Incarnate Word Wednesday night.
"That is nearly double what homeowners are paying today."
The TPPF is one of the leading opponents of the Climate Plan.
Isaac says its not surprising that polls show that most of the support for the city's Climate Plan comes from well off White people, which is certain not San Antonio's key demographic.
"Unfortunately for San Antonio’s businesses and especially its poorest residents, any plan for the city to reach “carbon neutrality” by 2050 is bound to dramatically drive up the cost of living, increase taxes, and discourage entrepreneurship and business investment," he said.
Nirenberg has stressed that the plan is 'not a mandate' and is not an attempt to take people's cars away. But Isaac and other speakers at the Town Hall disagree.
"The city seeks to achieve its carbon neutrality goal by two primary means. First is the electrification of not just the city’s vehicle fleet, but also of all private vehicles in the city. The plan calls for reducing vehicle miles traveled by “prioritizing the reduction of those traveled in single-occupancy vehicles,” pressuring people to give up their cars through regulations such as reducing the number of parking spaces and creating vehicle-free zones."
Even though the plan has backed away from the requirement that CPS Energy generate all of its fuel from carbon free sources by 2050, Isaac says it will still imposed such extreme costs on the utility that the entire states' poweer grid could be placed at risk.
"CPS sold $137 million of electricity into the grid last year," he siad. "Our concerns are that electricity will go away, and will make for a less safe, secure, and affordable Texas."
The TPPF points out that the state's power grid is already at the snapping point, as evidenced by the calls for energy conservation during hot days in late September.
the group also blasted Nirenberg for proposing the adoption of a long range climate plan without telling the citizens who will have to pay for it how much it will cost, and cited statistics to show that the mayor's claim that 'the cost of doing nothing is far more expensive' is nonsense.
The TPPF said the Climate Plan flies right in the face of Mayor Nirenberg's calls for 'equity' in government.
"The people who are hurt the most by these policies are exactly the people the city seeks to help: low-income residents and minority communities. A civil rights group is currently suing the California Air Resources Board, alleging in stark terms that some of the same policies proposed in the CAAP, including VMT reductions and “net zero” housing requirements, exacerbate poverty and disproportionally impact minority communities. Without significant wealth transfers and tax increases that will drive businesses to other cities, these policies will have the exact opposite effect of the CAAP’s high-minded emphasis on climate equity," the TPPF said.