Human Events Blog

Green Energy: King of Corporate Welfare

One of the persistent talking points raised in defense of President Obama’s titanic, and utterly futile, “green energy” investments is that fossil fuels get plenty of “subsidies” from the government too.  Many industries receive tax preferences and subsidies from the government – a problem that conservatives are interested in addressing, not the supposedly “power to the people” Left – but green energy is the undisputed king of corporate welfare. 

It’s funny how the formerly implacable opposition of liberals to corporate welfare dissolved completely, once our money was handed over to environmentally sensitive boardroom parasites.  As Daniel Horowitz at Red State writes, compared to the government support for fossil fuels, it’s not even remotely close:

Yesterday, CBO released a report stating the obvious.  They found that in 2011, federal subsidies for green energy totaled $24 billion.  Also, between 2009 and 2012, the DOE provided $25 billion in loans “primarily to producers of advanced vehicles, generators of solar power, and manufacturers of solar equipment.”  Fossil fuels, on the other hand, received $3.4 billion in “tax preferences.

However, those numbers don’t tell the full story.  Most of the tax preferences for fossil fuels go towards more universal deductions like expensing for exploration costs.  Green energy receives direct subsidies per kilowatt hour produced – benefits that are awarded solely to the wind and solar industries.  Also, due to the inefficiency and cost of green energy, these companies fail to generate enough revenue to incur a tax liability.  As such, many of these tax preferences are actually refundable.  Fossil fuel companies pay millions in taxes.  To illustrate the point, Heritage scholar David Kreutzer shows how wind companies receive 1,000 times the subsidy that is given to oil companies.http://madisonproject.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif

(Emphases mine.)  So that useless “green energy” junk is getting over fifteen times the government support that fossil fuels – you know, the stuff that actually works – receives.  Furthermore, the abject failure of green energy makes these corporate welfare titans receive more taxpayer support, when they don’t incur a tax liability.

Horowitz goes on to point out another important difference between green energy and fossil fuels: the government invests a great deal of effort (and your money) in manipulating the consumption of green energy through mandates, in addition to heavily subsidizing production.  It’s artificially seeking to create demand for the green stuff, while stigmatizing fossil fuels, which have become increasingly similar to tobacco – a legal product the government taxes the hell out of, while simultaneously treating its consumption as deeply sinful.  How often have you heard liberals wail about our “addiction” to fossil fuels?

Despite all these subsidies, all forms of green energy combined account for about 12 percent of America’s energy supply, while fossil fuels provide 83 percent.  The government is forcing us to spend fifteen times as much to subsidize less than one-sixth of our energy sources.  Enjoy your “transformation,” folks!

While you’re enjoying the sad-clown spectacle of President Obama staggering around the country and bleating that he’s the first president in history whose policies have absolutely nothing to do with high gas prices, despite hard evidence to the contrary, ask yourself what prices at the pump would be like if the bags of cash thrown in front of those windmills had been invested in sane and sensible exploration of useful American oil and gas resources.

Here’s how President Downgrade proposes to deal with those soaring pump prices, as reported by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer:

President Barack Obama used a visit to North Carolina on Wednesday to announce an initiative to build and use alternative-energy vehicles.

In remarks delivered at the Daimler Trucks plant in Mount Holly, N.C., Obama announced a $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge. The goal of that program is to spur the construction and use of “clean” vehicles.

The speech and the new program, which also includes expansion of tax credits and other incentives, is part of the Obama administration’s effort to deal with rising discontent among U.S. citizens with rising gasoline prices.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Obama’s answer to hundreds of billions wasted on green energy boondoggles, while the American economy is crushed beneath his expensive gas prices, is to propose another billion dollars in government spending on more “green” boondoggles.  He stops just short of giving middle-class Americans the finger during these speeches.  Re-elect him, and you’ll get to experience the rest of the “transformation” he has in mind for you.  He’s saving the really agonizing parts for after the election.

Sign Up