The No Subsidies Energy Policy

Global Environment Fund founder and chief executive Jeffrey Leonard (not 1987 National League Championship Series MVP Jeffrey Leonard) wrote in The Washington Post last week:

If Obama wants to set us on a path to a sustainable-energy future – and a green one, too – he should propose a very simple solution to the current mess: eliminate all energy subsidies. Yes, all of them – oil, coal, gas, nuclear, ethanol, and wind and solar.

This is a fabulous idea which we genuinely hope President Obama adopts. Subsidies distort market signals creating complacency and reducing the incentive to innovate. Despite decades of subsidies, alternative energies such as wind and solar power contribute only 1% of our nation’s energy needs. Subsidies for clean coal, oil, nuclear, and natural gas are no different. Energy industries should be freed from all government subsidies.

But conservatives should be on guard because not all energy subsidies come in the form of loopholes, payments, and loan guarantees. Mandates, like the existing ethanol mandate, or the proposed Renewable Electricity Standards are also subsidies.

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