Subsidizing Oil and Coal Over Alternative Energy

The federal government gives more research and development subsidies to fossil fuels than clean energy technologies. But, why?

Columnist Phillip Bump of Grist writes on the counterintuitive role federal subsidies play in the energy industry. When comparing research and development subsidies for fossil fuels versus those for cleaner renewables, Bump finds, "[f]ossil fuels received far more research and development subsidies...than did clean energy projects."

This should come as a surprise to many, as the federal government, and government in general, is often viewed as renewable energy's main proponent. Additionally, and from an international standpoint, as Bump writes, "if we want to position the United States as a leader in the emerging clean energy sector, we can't let existing energy systems both kill research and development for clean energy and block attempts to internalize their own costs."

Best put, "[i]magine if your little store was trying to compete with Walmart and the government was giving Walmart far more money than you."

Full Story: Columnist: Millions for coal and oil, but not one more penny for clean energy



Irvin Dawid's picture

Clean Energy Subsidies Not The Response To Oil Subsidies

Philip Bump opines on a Washington Post column, Millions for coal and oil, but not one more penny for clean energy" that in turn is based on a Brookings report on clean energy. Conclusion: clean energy subsidies are not the answer (one Brookings economic fellow actually uses the term "money down the rat hole".)

Both speakers recommend a carbon tax to level the playing field.
She states, "you can push on supply all you want but if you don't address demand"'ll fail.

Obama and his allies have tried several times to eliminate oil subsidies, unsuccessfully. They've tries to level the playing field by subsidizing clean energy - but that is far more difficult - and not recommended by the Brookings economists. Between a rock and a hard place.....

Irvin Dawid

Carbon taxes.

Both speakers recommend a carbon tax to level the playing field.

I'm all for C taxes, but in America?!? in this cr*ptacular political economy?!?



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