Senate Committee seeks to make renewable energy handout “permanent”

pickpocket renewable energy

Washington, D.C. – Acknowledging that some sources of energy just can’t cut it on their own, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure held a hearing today to consider making the manufacturing tax credit for renewable energy technologies permanent. This program was created last year as part of the $787 billion stimulus package. To date, the program has granted $2.3 billion worth of tax credits and is said to “generate” 17,000 jobs (that’s $135,295 per job for those inclined to crunch the numbers).

Thomas J. Pyle, president of the market-based Institute for Energy Research issued the following statement:

“It is not surprising that a program that gives away billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars is popular among rent-seeking corporations whose product would otherwise fail in the marketplace.  Who can say no to free money?  Of course, it is not free to the taxpayer, who pays not just once for the government give-away, but a second time in the form of increased energy prices.

“As hard as Congress tries to make renewable energy competitive, whether through hand outs like this, or by penalizing traditional sources of energy, these forms of energy simply aren’t ready for the major leagues.

“Make no mistake, a good farm system of diverse energy sources is very important, but they must be developed in the marketplace, not Washington.  Renewable energy companies and their partners on Wall Street should put up their own money instead of standing in line for taxpayer-funded handouts.

“Other nations, like Spain, have tried this and the results have been disastrous.  Our government should learn from these mistakes instead of trying to repeat them.”

Note: Spain had a robust renewable energy handout program that allowed them to claim first place in many renewable energy rankings. However, acknowledging that this was unsustainable, the Spanish government is currently in the process of slashing their “excessive subsidies.” Bloomberg recently reported on this “burst bubble.”


May 20, 2010
Patrick Creighton: 202.621.2947
Laura Henderson: 202.621.2951

Print Friendly, PDF & Email