Drawing the Wrong Conclusion XIX — yet another edition of ‘that cronyism is bad because it can’t go to this cronyism’

North Carolina Commerce Secretary — by the way, what would you say a commerce secretary does here? — John Skvarla spoke recently to WRAL on incentives for energy (see the 19:22 mark).

Skvarla is asked about the solar incentives, especially as he was previously the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Here is his answer, with a few interruptions:

Solar is an industry that is becoming very mature very quickly.

If by “becoming very mature” you mean having reached the tantrum stage of unweaned infancy.

The solar industry will tell you that at some point in time they do need to stand on their own.

And that point is when, 3015? This is an industry that regularly tells everyone they will die without every last cent of their unbelievably generous tax credits and increasing purchase mandates.

Oh, but now we’re getting to it:

Clearly the incentive, or the tax credit, for solar was a mechanism that enabled them to get much more mature. I believe that the maturity stage needs to be defined —

Which seems to suggest that, actually, solar is not at all mature and not at all showing prospects of ever becoming mature, and this prospect of ongoing, endless immaturity is becoming alarming enough that state leaders see they will need to define some end point.

— and that we need to take those type credits


Finally, action to cease crony favoritism for special interests. As stated here before, “Good call! Let’s stop with playing games with tax policy for giveaways to special cronies.”

But as also stated here before, “Wait, he had more to say. What was it?”

— and start looking at other forms of alternatives like biomass, animal waste, all of those things also can produce energy, and we need to start incentivizing other areas to grow to the stature that solar has achieved.



Click the link for previous entries in the “Drawing the Wrong Conclusion” series.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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