Next Time Someone Claims There's a "Free Market" for Energy

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

...or that renewable energy "can't make it without subsidies," or that "government shouldn't pick 'winners and losers," or that fossil fuels are the "choice of the market," or that the Clean Power Plan is "too expensive," or some other utterly false nonsense, simply show them this article and laugh. By the way, those $5.3 trillion in subsidies for fossil fuels don't count "negative externalities," such as the enormous health (cancer, asthma, etc.) and environmental (acid rain, global warming, oil spills, fracking damage, etc.) costs associated with fossil fuels, but which fossil fuels don't incorporate into their price thanks to extremely lax government policies. The $5.3 trillion in subsidies for fossil fuels also don't count indirect subsidies, such as massive government subsidization/encouragement of automobile-oriented development, military expenditures needed to defend oil supply lines/sources, etc, etc. Add all that up, and it comes to many, many times more than $5.3 trillion, to the point where fossil fuels would be utterly noncompetitive (think $10-$20/gallon or more gasoline if all these costs were incorporated) with clean energy.