Thursday, December 18, 2014

Solar subsidies vs oil subsidies

If you're not yet contacting your congressman about energy policy you are asleep at the wheel. Let me break this down. Oil is a subsidized business. Fact. OPEC is a cartel run predominantly by government owned oil companies. Fact. Oil is trading below the price of production for most countries including many that continue to pump it at a loss. Fact.

No one is crying out about low oil prices. Congress ins't slapping import tariffs on Middle East oil even though Middle East governments are subsidizing low oil prices which is putting huge pressure on the U.S. shale industry.

The NYT is out with this today:

“These remedies come just in time to enable the domestic industry to return to conditions of fair trade,” said Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Americas. “The tariffs and scope set the stage for companies to create new jobs and build or expand factories on U.S. soil.”
This type of nonsense drives me insane. This is a lobbyist looking out purely for American solar companies that aren't competitive on the world stage. This solar policy is broken.

Some solar executives and advocates argue that the low prices have helped spur wider adoption of solar energy in the United States, creating thousands of customers and jobs.
And these solar executives are right! Of course cheaper prices increase adoption and yes that creates jobs in other sectors such as installation or design of smart grids or a million other things.

The solar tariffs add up to over 50% in some cases. That's ridiculous and keeps us dependent on fossil fuels and funding regions of the world that are unstable and taking our oil money and funding terrorism.

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