Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fossil Fuels Subsidies 12X Clean Energy!?!

I had heard anecdotally that fossil fuels received substantial subsidies, and probably more than renewables. As you know from reading here, the federal biodiesel production tax credit expired just shy of a year ago, so that just adds insult to injury in my book. Here is an article on Treehugger that discusses a recent study by the Marshall Business School at USC, which found that around the world, fossil fuels receive 12 times the subsidies of renewable or clean energies:

So, I kinda understand the unwillingness of US citizens to subsidize biodiesel. The nation is in rough shape and a lot of people are out of work. The biodiesel manufacturers should be able to stand on their own, but the point of subsidies, in my understanding, is to help a nascent industry to establish its footing in developing market share, distribution, etc.. Biodiesel as an industry has not been around for terribly long, and certainly not as long as fossil fuels such as coal or petroleum. Yet, as the USC study indicates, fossil fuels continue to receive piles of subsidies.

A footnote on the Treehugger article above mentions that Obama tried to eliminate almost 40 billion dollars in coal and oil subsidies. I realize that the federal government is attempting to reduce the deficit, so if they don't renew the biodiesel production credit, so be it... but get rid of the subsidization of fossil fuels to level the playing field a little. Drop a line to your representative in the state and federal government. All the closed biodiesel plants around the country might stand a chance of re-opening if they could actually compete with Big Oil.

OK, I'm getting off my soapbox... for now.

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