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New Study Makes Good Points, but Why Focus Only on Clean Energy Subsidies?

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Recently, a new report - "Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech on a Path to Subsidy Independence" by the Breakthrough Institute, the World Resources Institute, and the Brookings Institute - was brought to our attention.  The main conclusions were:

  • There has been a surge in clean energy in recent years, along with "a historic expansion of federal support for clean tech."
  • "Now, much of that support is set to decline...federal clean tech support is slated to plunge 75 percent from 2009 to 2014."
  • This means that "Clean energy policy in America is at a crossroads" which "can ultimately free clean energy from subsidy dependence and put clean tech sectors on a path to sustainable, long-term growth."

There's certainly truth in these conclusions, and in the report generally speaking, as David Roberts of Grist explains.  Still, as we read it, we couldn't help but wonder: why are clean energy advocates spending so much time talking about how our industry should be free from government policy support, instead of focusing on the massively larger government handouts doled out to dirty energy over the past 60 years (longer, actually)? Very curious.