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Trump’s Attack On Renewable Energy

HPG

Fossil fuels have long been subsidized by tax policies, such as the oil depletion allowance, and by infrastructure construction, such as the interstate highway system. In light of these long-standing subsidies, it’s always a little ironic when fossil fuel industry advocates complain about tax expenditures and other subsidies promoting the renewable energy business. In my view, in their time, all of these subsidies played a positive role in the nation’s economic development. The Tennessee Valley Authority and other New Deal programs subsidized rural electrification and brought the modern energy economy to a part of the country that the free market in energy might never have developed. No one seems to argue for the free market when they receive a subsidy, but if a competitor gets an incentive, suddenly the government is dominated by socialists determined to “pick winners.” At this stage in our economic history, the global economy has begun to make the transition to renewable energy. While the Obama Administration took some modest steps to participate in that transition, the Trump Administration seems determined to reverse those initiatives. It began in May with the appointment of Daniel Simmons to lead the Department of Energy’s renewable energy office. According to the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis: “President Trump has appointed Daniel Simmons, a conservative scholar who sharply questioned the value of promoting renewable energy sources and curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, to oversee the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), according to an email distributed to department employees. The selection marks one of several recent Trump appointments to top energy and environmental posts, which appear to repudiate the Obama administration’s policies aimed at shifting the nation to low-carbon sources of electricity.” In a similar move, Trump and his Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry have closed a small office that worked to bring renewable energy to the developing world

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Trump’s Attack On Renewable Energy

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