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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2036

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
coboardhead wrote:
In 2011, the Federal Government spent $24 Billion (direct subsidies and tax breaks) on all energy sources. $8 Billion in non-renewable (oil, gas, nuclear etc). $16 Billion on renewables including $6 Billion on ethanol which consisted of largely tax breaks to refiners.

Assuming those numbers are accurate, they could be stated differently........$8Bn for the industries that produce 90%+ of our energy needs and twice that amount (20 times more) for industries that produce less than 10% of our needs in a sporadic manner. Those numbers also put into context the "subsidies" to oil and gas companies, which are small relative to their huge investments, and are dwarfed by the taxes those companies pay.


Isn't the point of a subsidy to develop new industry, rather than pay off political friends (not that it doesn't occur in new industries too)? Abundant natural gas has changed the landscape in energy and does require, possibly, a shift in our direction on production of energy and the need for renewables. This natural gas glut is only a recent development due to new technology and discoveries. And, it will take decades to convert coal plants to natural gas. Wind and solar installments are a very quick method to reduce the substantial health and environmental costs of the production of electricity using coal.

While natural gas does produce less carbon, it is still substantial. If wind/solar/hydro can give us a 20% (or more in Colo.) reduction in those base numbers, shouldn't that have some value?
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6022

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt mrgybe, you're 100% behind fossil fuels. And, as I understand it, against regulations too.

Can't say that I like the combo. While I think that most of us accept the fact that fossil fuels will be with us for a long time, that doesn't mean that we need to accept the pollution and destruction caused by these sources of power. I can only hope you have the good sense to get 100% behind the regulations needed to make fossil fuels a clean source of energy.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3538

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maui is the most pro green place in the US. We are quickly moving to solar and wind to replace fossils and keep the environment we have.
You can't build a new home without solar hot water. The power company is wholly on board partly because their monopoly.would be at risk if they resisted the regulatory agencies.
It can be done.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2888

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Isn't the point of a subsidy to develop new industry, rather than pay off political friends (not that it doesn't occur in new industries too)?

In an economy that is running a deficit of $1T every year choices have to be made. This administration has chosen to expend government largesse on so-called green energy with limited success, and several notable disasters, while giving a very cold shoulder to energy sources that actually work. A US natural gas boom has indeed occurred. Production is up 20% since 2008 opening up all sorts of possibilities for its use and for independence from hostile suppliers. However, a closer look at that increase reveals that production is up 40% on private and state lands, and down 33% on Federal lands. The time to obtain a permit to drill is up 30% under this Administration. So our government is giving cash to producers and purchasers of energy sources of dubious efficiency, while actively discouraging possibly the greatest energy boom this country has seen since Titusville. I disagree with their balance

Incidentally, while so-called "green" energy receives direct government subsidies.........e.g. tax credits for purchasing a Prius, or installing solar panels........contrary to some ill-informed commentary here, the oil and gas industry does not receive any such subsidies. They merely are allowed to take deductions to recover their costs in the exact same way that most other industries do. As for paying off political friends, that is a discussion that this Administration may not wish to have.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5561

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be sure, not paying for emissions, paying minimal rent on leases of Federal land, Federal absorption of liability for nuclear accidents, and transferring the costs of adaptation to climate change to the public, are subsidies of a staggering magnitude. Beware of showy displays run by the little man in the corner who calls himself a wizard.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14607

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Isn't the point of a subsidy to develop new industry, rather than pay off political friends

Should be, but it's not working out that way.
Solyndra is just one example among many of Obama's abuse of the concept. (Bush lobbied strongly against it.)
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14607

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
a closer look at that increase reveals that production is up 40% on private and state lands, and down 33% on Federal lands. The time to obtain a permit to drill is up 30% under this Administration. So our government is giving cash to producers and purchasers of energy sources of dubious efficiency, while actively discouraging possibly the greatest energy boom this country has seen since Titusville.

Another study showing numbers like that was in today's WSJ.
It's been on Fox News for a year or two.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2036

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
coboardhead wrote:
Isn't the point of a subsidy to develop new industry, rather than pay off political friends (not that it doesn't occur in new industries too)?

In an economy that is running a deficit of $1T every year choices have to be made. This administration has chosen to expend government largesse on so-called green energy with limited success, and several notable disasters, while giving a very cold shoulder to energy sources that actually work. A US natural gas boom has indeed occurred. Production is up 20% since 2008 opening up all sorts of possibilities for its use and for independence from hostile suppliers. However, a closer look at that increase reveals that production is up 40% on private and state lands, and down 33% on Federal lands. The time to obtain a permit to drill is up 30% under this Administration. So our government is giving cash to producers and purchasers of energy sources of dubious efficiency, while actively discouraging possibly the greatest energy boom this country has seen since Titusville. I disagree with their balance

Incidentally, while so-called "green" energy receives direct government subsidies.........e.g. tax credits for purchasing a Prius, or installing solar panels........contrary to some ill-informed commentary here, the oil and gas industry does not receive any such subsidies. They merely are allowed to take deductions to recover their costs in the exact same way that most other industries do. As for paying off political friends, that is a discussion that this Administration may not wish to have.


Yes, there have been notable "disasters" in the green industry...mostly financial. But, the fossil fuel industry is hardly "disaster proof"...Exxon Valdez, BP Oil Spill, Three Mile Island...

We let the nuclear industry go for forty years with no plan to dispose of their waste while it piled up in our backyards. Finally, we spend billions to evaluate and test disposal sites.

Then, there is the grand-daddy of all fossil fuel disasters...er subsidies...Coal. Estimates (not including climate change) of the health costs run $100 Billion per year and more.

Arguably, even a larger subsidy of fossil fuels is what we spend in our defense of our oil interests overseas.

How much do we spend yearly to oversee regulations on fossil fuels? How much did we spend on research on nuclear waste? How much did we spend on research on clean coal? How about tax credits on natural gas conversions for vehicles? Tax credits for natural gas filing stations? Excise tax credit provided to suppliers of natuaral gas?

I am not anti-fossil fuels. I have worked in oil, gas, coal and nuclear. I believe in a balanced approach to energy that includes renewables. Unless we attach ALL of the indirect costs of other energy sources to the price "at the pump", I see subsidies as necessary to develop green sources.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6022

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said coboardhead.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2036

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those that believe that the Federal Government is not providing direct subsidies to fossil fuel production, this might be enlightening:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Federal_coal_subsidies

I believe that this source is anti-fossil fuels, so the summary of total damages for coal needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But, the lists of the types of subsidies is interesting.

I do not disagree with some of this funding. Especially, funding that is providing loan guarantees and direct grants for the conversion to clean coal.
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