The Uneven Energy Playing Field and the Spindoctors who Ignore it

Wed, 2010-09-01 13:48Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

The Uneven Energy Playing Field and the Spindoctors who Ignore it

There has been a recent surge in articles from fossil-fuel friendly sources pointing to the inequity of tax credits and government subsidies being directed to the renewable energy sector. 

The latest is by Alan Caruba writing on the industry-backed CFACT website bemoaning a $7 million investment in a wind project in New Jersey. 

What Caruba and others fail to mention in their argument is that the fossil fuel industry - the main competitor to the renewable energy sector - receives more than ten times as much in government subsidies globally.

A recent report by Bloomberg New Finance finds that worldwide, the fossil fuel industry - which is made up mainly of oil, gas and coal companies - receives $557 billion a year in government subsidies while the renewable energy sector receives less than one-tenth of the support at around $45 billion.

In the United States, government spends two-times more money on subsidies to the fossil fuel sector, with $72.5 billion going to dirty fuels and $29 billion to clean technology. And half of that $29 billion goes into subsidies for corn-based ethanol and not wind, solar and geothermal technology.

Not mentioning the ridiculousness of subsidizing companies like ExxonMobil, one of the most profitable companies in the history of the world, this uneven playing ground in the energy sector between fossil fuels and clean energy is what allows people like Caruba to make his false arguments.