Democrats' wasteful green energy subsidies

IBD:

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What's missing from the Democrats' tireless refrain is the fact that the "subsidies" the oil industry enjoys are the same legitimate, passed-by-Congress tax deductions available to all companies — even those companies the Democratic lawmakers own stock in.

Simply put, Big Oil, which pays more than $86 million in taxes each day and sends 41% of its net income to Washington, is not supported by the U.S. taxpayer.

Renewable energy companies, however, are.

The Energy Information Administration says that $14.7 billion in taxpayers' money was handed directly to renewable energy companies last year.

Politically connected ethanol raked in $6.6 billion, bird-killing wind power $5 billion, unreliable solar $1.13 billion and energy-deficient biomass $1.1 billion.

Combined, those subsidized sources provide roughly 11% of all U.S. energy output. Not much, in other words.

Total subsidies for renewables in 2010, the first budget the Democrats had full control over since taking Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, were $9 billion — or 186% — higher than the 2009 subsidies.

A portion of this largess was of course provided at the expense of the oil and gas industries, which paid $1 trillion in income taxes between 1998 and 2008.

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The subsidies are counter productive because they offer no incentive for these technologies to become more efficient and more competitive with conventional energu. These forms of energy will never dominate the market place until they off competition on a level playing field.

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