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

Fuel Fix carries the following headline:

Obama budget would slash oil tax breaks

Riker-hopeful

Good. Energy costs are highly impactful, especially on poor consumers. We need a healthy, level playing field for competing energy providers to compete for our business, not government favors.

It’d be an encouraging step for the government — especially this administration — to grasp the importance of ending subsidies and allowing competition to work.

As this blog discussed in 2013 with respect to solar subsidies and why they need to end in order for the industry to truly compete,

Subsidies stifle innovation, because they shelter the subsidized from the buffeting winds of competition. If you know you’re going to “succeed” no matter what, then even more than the hare in the famous fable, you’re going to fall asleep in the race. …

So instead of being propped up by subsidies, solar needs to be pushed by cheap natural gas. And natural gas needs to be pushed by price-competitive solar energy. Other energy sources need these competitors to increase in strength as well. Because it’s through price competition, not government crutches, that these industries grow stronger — and consequently, that a basic household necessity like electricity becomes more affordable so that people have more disposable income to meet other needs.

Among other things, my report on North Carolina’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) mandate looked at different energy sources receiving federal subsidies. Here are two charts from that report (click for a larger version):

energy sources fed subsidies

Oh, but wait.

I haven’t finished reading the headline:

while boosting renewables

Oh.

Riker-disappointed

So this is more of his green cronyism, just rearranging pigs at the trough, as per last year with his so-called “smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.”

Previous entries in “Drawing the Wrong Conclusion”: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, and XVII.

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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