38 years of energy subsidies

• A “gas-guzzler” tax on automobiles

• A rebate on electric vehicles

• A gasoline tax

• Subsidies to buses

• Taxes on aviation and marine fuel

Sound familiar? It should, as these are all parts of the current war on fossil fuels.

A year and a half from now, it will be the 40th anniversary of President Carter’s prophecies of catastrophe. And it will also be the 40th anniversary of the start of the subsidization of the solar and wind power sectors. These subsidies have currently reached astounding levels. Table ES2 from the US Energy Information Agency gives the subsidies of all types (direct expenditures, tax expenditures, R&D, rural utilities subsidy) for 2013, the most recent year available. Here are the results:

In 2013, coal was subsidized about a billion dollars. Natural gas and oil, about $2.3 billion. Nuclear got about $1.7 billion. Total, about $5.0 billion dollars.

Now, how about renewables? Solar energy alone, at $5.3 billion, gets more subsidy than all the fossil fuels put together plus nuclear. And wind energy alone, the recipient of an even larger $5.9 billion dollar subsidy, also is larger than all fossil plus nuclear. In total, the renewable sector got about $15 billion dollars in subsidies, three times that of fossil fuels plus nuclear. More than two-thirds of that went to wind and solar.

And it is getting worse. Despite years of people saying that the solar and wind power were market ready and competitive and all that, in 2010 solar and wind got a total of $6.5 billion dollars in subsidies … and by 2013, the subsidies were up to $11.2 billion dollars.




Note that this $11+ billion dollar subsidy was just for 2013, and does not include the billions and billions of the past 36 years of solar and wind subsidies since Jimmy Carter. It also doesn’t include the billions upon billions of dollars that the Europeans have poured into solar and wind subsidies of all types. And importantly, it doesn’t include the subsidization of expensive renewable energy sources through “renewable energy mandates”. It also only includes US Federal Government programs, so it doesn’t include any State programs.

It also doesn’t include the implicit subsidy of renewables from the penalties imposed on fossil fuels (Carter’s gasoline taxes, “cap-and-trade” programs, the Kyoto Protocol, “carbon taxes”, and the like).

So we’re talking a playing field which has been tilted in favor of solar and wind energy by something on the order of at least a hundred billion dollars … how’s that going?

Read the rest.
This is good, too.

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