Monday, July 29, 2013

The GOP Should Eliminate, not Cut, the "Clean Energy Budget"

House of Representatives Republicans are looking to slash the so-called "clean energy budget," and the Left is predictably up in arms about it. "House GOP Bows to Fossil Fuel Bosses," howls the NJ Star-Ledger:

The research money for clean energy was not enough to begin with, and nowhere near the tens of billions we give as subsidies to fossil fuel industries. And Republicans are now proposing to cut the clean energy budget by as much as half, from $1.9 billion last year to $983 million this year.

Why not just eliminate them? Republicans are going to be pilloried whether they cut them 1% or 100%, anyway. Instead, they once again me-too the Democrats, in effect saying to them: "Yes, we agree we need the subsidies, but just less expensive ones." If they're against subsidies, they should, for once, stand on principle. Eliminate the subsidies, and make a clear-cut case against them (which can't be done if you approve of any level of subsidies). If they're for them, then why go through the charade of cutting them? $1 billion is a drop in the bucket of a multi-trillion dollar federal budget.

Being against solar and wind subsidies is not the same as being against solar and wind energy. It's being against corporate welfare. And those "tens of billions we give as subsidies to fossil fuel industries" are a myth. Fossil Fuel companies get no taxpayer handouts, just tax provisions for expenditures like any other business. These tax provisions result in oil companies keeping more of what they have earned. They are not a subsidies.

The oil, natural gas, and coal industries stand on their own feet economically. Solar and Wind companies should learn to do the same, or perish. 


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