August 20, 2010

What you may not know about subsidized energy

Listen up!

Many complain about the current subsidies that solar and wind energy programs are receiving--about $12.2 billion for all forms of renewable energy from 2002 to 2008 (according to the International Energy Agency). They interpret that to mean that renewable energy is more expensive than coal and oil.

OOPS. Guess they don't know that "dirty energy" is also subsidized, and has been for eons. In that same time period from 2002 and 2008, the U.S. government provided $70.2 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas. Then there are the "hidden costs" (taxes, you might call them) for asthma and other respiratory diseases worsened by the accompanying emissions, as well as environmental damage--such as what we're seeing big time right now. Oh, I might mention the mountaintop removal problem as well, and greenhouse gases if you're worried about climate change. On the world stage, the fossil fuels folks got $557 billion in subsidies--NOT a paltry sum!

So, whether you admit it or not, YOU are paying a LOT more than you realize when you fill your gas tank, turn on your lights, or heat your home.