Corporate Welfare

The Costs of CLEAN Energy

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Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren at Cato think hard about a key part of the Democrats' "100 Hours" Agenda, H.R. 6, the "Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act," or "CLEAN Energy Act." They have a cheer for "a proposed $14 billion cut over ten years in the subsidies going to the petroleum industry," are skeptical about the "conservation resource fee," are for "the elimination of preferential tax treatment afforded intangible domestic drilling expenses" and give examples of even more Congress could have done in targeting various accelerated depreciations that impact the oil industry's tax bill.

The ultimate joker in the CLEAN Energy deck, though, is that:

The Democrats' somewhat dodgy anti-subsidy crusade, however, collapses into ashes with the proposed "Strategic Energy Efficiency and Renewables Reserve" tacked on to the bill. In short, all fiscal gains to the Treasury associated with the above will be handed back out again to corporations like GE, British Petroleum, and you-name-the-industrial-conglomerate engaged in energy efficiency and renewable energy businesses. But the same arguments against handouts to "Big Oil" can be as easily marshaled against handouts to Big or Little Fill-In-the-Blank. And with energy prices this high, there are ample incentives for investors to spend money on oil and gas production, renewable energy, energy conservation, or other energy exotica.

Whole article here.

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  1. Out of one corporate inbox, into the other. Its pretty funny.

  2. It is stupid because there is absolutely positively no energy source besides, oil, coal and natural gas that humans can use., ever, now and forever, period, and it is impossible to run out because we have INFINITE supplies of those resources, there and infinite amounts of hydrocarbon molecules in the earth acording to economic theory, period, END OF DISCUSSION

  3. If you believe that government action is what creates good outcomes, this makes perfect sense. Cut subsidies for the bad, give subsidies for the good.

    So color me unsurprised.

  4. …there is absolutely positively no energy source besides, oil, coal and natural gas that humans can use., ever, now and forever, period, and it is impossible to run out because we have INFINITE supplies of those resources…

    Wow, joe, is that what the article said?

    I have the impression it does not say that at all but I only skimmed it. I will take the time to read it tonight. By that time this thread will be dead.

  5. Economic efficiency is irrelevant to politicians, except insofar as the efficient seeking and capture of rents is concerned. Social engineering is the ultimate good; eh, Joe?

  6. Joe might be on to something. By burning straw we may be able to ween ourselves off of carbon.

  7. That’s not me.

    That’s a false joe. A faux joe, or “jaux,” if you will.

  8. Sorry, joe. My response to the imposter still stands though.

    I was fairly sure your reading skills were better than that. But I though maybe you’d become unhinged due to certain events this past weekend. 🙂

  9. Nuclear…Safe, clean, and effective.
    I worked 15 years in the nuclear field an ten at some “dirt burners.” I’ll take nuclear anytime.

  10. Sorry, Joe; I’ll try to remember to look at the e-mail address next time. At least this particular impostor used a spoof address.

  11. Nuclear…easy to scare people about.

    Sadly, that one aspect outweighs Eric’s three in the question of practical implementation.

  12. Or put quotes around “Joe.”

  13. I dunno, I like “Jaux”.

  14. I’m pretty sure it was innocent, “joe” not exactly being a unique moniker.

  15. “Jaux” — that’s a good one!

  16. Do you think H&R has enough clout to put a neologism into common parlance?

    jaux: n, a false screen name provided on an internet site in an attempt to impersonante an individual known to that site’s readers.

  17. There are alternatives to oil and gas. There are 580,000 megawatts of potential energy on land and 10 times that amount using the oceans. Check out my technological developements before you rail against the renewable sector. You are wrong! We procuce in the megawatt range and have zero fish kill with synchronous connection to the grid. Government support= 0 ZERO. Oil and Gas= 14 Billion. You figure out why you have not heard of http://www.fieldstoneenergy.com ???

  18. It can’t be just a noun – it has to be a verb too

    jaux: v trans the act of using a false screen name on an internet site in an attempt to impersonate an individual known to that site’s readers. Usage: Somebody jauxed Dan T again.

  19. If you believe that government action is what creates good outcomes, this makes perfect sense. Cut subsidies for the bad, give subsidies for the good.- No but when the cards are stacked in favor of the oil and gas industry and they have willing and complicit players like Joe, the outcome will always be the same. I put the blood of those that have died and those yet to die-both human and animal species- on the hands of Joe for spreading these ridiculus notions. We are headed down a slippery slope and all that we can do is parradoy some late night talk show host with our witless witicisims? We are a smarter people than this?

  20. Actually, joe is only spoofed on occasion–he’s usually himself. Dan T., on the other hand, may not even exist. Thus, the term should be dant.

  21. We are a smarter people than this?

    If I gather what you are getting at, apparently we are a people who will gang up on other people, steal their money, and give it to companies so they can compete in industries that charge high prices for their products.

    This is smart? … Actually, it may be smart for the subsidized companies, but it’s pretty stupid for the population as a whole.

  22. joe | January 22, 2007, 12:15pm | #

    They could try, but it’s already archaic. Modern sites have accounts and consequently, no jaux. (

  23. I blame Greenpeace and the enviornmental movement for Global Warming. If they hadn’t spread so much fearmongering about nuclear energy, and worked successfuly for years to neuter the nuclear power industry, we would have clean and cheap energy, and we wouldn’t be supporting terrorism (or more realisticly we would be supporting terrorists who don’t attack our own country).

    I think that Greenpeace is secretly being funded and supported by the oil companies. Everyone knows we can’t abandon our industrial society (and it wouldn’t be politically viable, if we could), so the only viable way to replace coal and oil is nuclear power. Supporting anti-nuclear greenpeace is a good way for the oil companies to protect their market.

    (And, to the editors and IT people at reason magazine… why not include an IP hash code next to the name of the poster? That way, when a fake joe posts a message, and the real joe posts a message, we will be able to see a difference in the hash code and know who is real and who is fake [assuming joe has a static IP])

  24. I may just start using “Jaux” as my on-line pseudonym.

  25. Brian Meano-CEO,

    By the way, I do wish you luck in making a working and marketable energy solution. I look forward to your company producing such good energy products at such a low cost that environmentalists will bemoan the damage done to ecosystems by the consequent dampening of water waves.

    But please avoid campaigning for government subsidies. Rather, fight to get rid of all subsidies of the energy industry, and let the best energy products provide the mix of benefits that best serves consumers.

  26. Its a bad sign when a bill is named after an acronym or a crime victim.

  27. Its a bad sign when a bill is named after an acronym or a crime victim.

    And the worst sign is when it’s named after both. Take the PATRIOT Act… a crime against patriots.

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