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SBE Council releases state index on energy costs; Florida ranks 37

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) published the“Energy Cost Index 2011: Ranking the States.”

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating, the report’s author, said: “For most small business owners, the cost of gas and electricity are significant line items. When prices fluctuate or go higher, the uncertainty and costs impact investment and hiring plans along with business confidence. In some states, government policies can drive energy costs higher, which means businesses are put at a competitive disadvantage.”

SBE Council’s “Energy Cost Index 2011” looks at the price of regular gasoline at the pump and the cost of electricity (average revenue per kilowatthour for all sectors). Each are calculated as indices and combined into one index. The “Energy Cost Index 2011” provides a bottom line ranking of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on energy prices. According to Keating, it is critical for policymakers to understand that energy prices are affected by policy decisions. Increased taxes, fees and regulations in the states, for example, drive up higher energy costs in those states. (Access the report by clicking here.)

The lowest cost states are: 1t) Utah, 2t) Wyoming, 3) Idaho, 4) Arkansas, 5t) Kentucky, 5t) Oklahoma, 7) North Dakota, 8t) Iowa, 8t) Louisiana, 8t) Missouri, 11) Nebraska, 12) Washington, 13t) South Dakota, 13t) West Virginia, and 15) New Mexico.

At the other end are the highest cost states (including the District of Columbia): 37) Florida, 38) Delaware, 39) Maryland, 40) California, 41) Maine, 42) District of Columbia, 43) Vermont, 44) New Jersey, 45) Massachusetts, 46) Rhode Island, 47) New Hampshire, 48) New York, 49) Alaska, 50) Connecticut, and 51) Hawaii.

Keating pointed out: “Energy costs certainly are affected by public policy measures at the federal, state and local levels. When policymakers focus on reining in taxes and removing regulatory burdens, that works to reduce energy costs to the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and consumers. But when focused on increasing energy taxes, expanding regulations, and creating governmental obstacles to energy development, the economy suffers accordingly.”

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