Hands Up for that Handout

What to know: Renewable energy conglomerates could soon be asking elected officials for permission to charge ratepayers—you and me—for the renewable subsidies that keep the industry afloat.

The TPPF take: Subsidies for wind and solar have real-world costs—to both taxpayers and ratepayers.

“In 2021, Texans spent about $4.1 billion on transmission fees, twice as much as in 2013,” says TPPF’s Aliyah Formont. “Most of the additional spending is facilitating new wind and solar generation. When compared to nuclear and fossil fuels, transmission costs for renewables come in about two to three times higher per unit of generating capacity.”

For more on renewable mandates and subsidies, click here.

Masks are Coming Back

What to know: Several officials are signaling their intent to enact mask mandates again—despite clear evidence of their harm, and the lack of evidence that they do any good.

The TPPF take: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many local officials acted as tiny tyrants. In the future, that’ll be much more difficult.

“The last several years have revealed a host of tiny tyrants occupying places of authority in Texas local government. The acts committed by those officials were wrong and, hopefully, won’t ever be repeated in the future,” says TPPF’s James Quintero. “The Texas Legislature deserves a lot of credit for reining in this type of local government overreach.”

For more on local government and emergency orders, click here.

A Bigger Bailout

What to know: President Joe Biden is planning an even bigger student loan bailout, saddling the taxpayers with the costs.

The TPPF take: The best path forward on student loans is to use the tools already available to us, including income-driven repayment.

“As a policy matter, student loan forgiveness is terrible,” says TPPF’s Andrew Gillen. “As we’ve noted, the policy failed on logical and rhetorical, educational, economic, moral, political, and legal grounds. One example: It used the real financial struggles of a small portion of borrowers as an excuse to shower almost all college graduates with an unearned windfall.”

For more on student loans, click here.