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Energy Fact Check Demolishes Fossil Fuel Attack on "renewable energy subsidies"

2 min. read

If you're not familiar with Energy Fact Check by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), you should definitely check it out, as it's an invaluable resource.  One of the main goals of Energy Fact Check, as it states on its website, is "responding to inaccuracies and misrepresentations with the facts on an industry that is popular, productive, growing and essential to America’s economy, energy independence and national security." As we know, those attacks have come fast and furious from the entrenched, incumbent, and highly profitable fossil fuel industry, which fears the increasingly disruptive force - to them, that is - represented by clean energy. Thus, we get false attacks from the fossil fuel folks such as:

"Renewable energy subsidies prop up an otherwise economically-unviable industry. We should 'level the playing field' by removing clean energy handouts and let renewables compete with fossil fuels."

Of course, that's not true at all, as Energy Fact Check explains in this edition. A few key points:

  • "The federal government subsidized traditional energy technologies for more than 60 years before supporting renewable energy, subsidies which continue today."
  • "The oil, coal, gas and nuclear industries have received approximately $630 billion in United States government subsidies, while wind, solar, biofuels and other renewable sectors have received a total of roughly $50 billion..."
  • "Only four major energy tax credits are permanent (i.e. they never expire): three are for fossil fuels and one is for nuclear energy."
  • "A 2011 Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 74% of Americans support 'eliminating tax credits for the oil and gas industries,'" compared to the "2012 United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll [which] found that 'almost two-thirds—64%—of those surveyed said that Congress should extend federal tax credits that encourage production of alternative-energy sources.'”

In sum, nothing about this particular line of fossil fuel industry attacks on clean energy is true.  Thanks to ACORE and Energy Fact Check for calling out the lies and correcting them with the facts. In this case, the fact is that fossil fuels are on government welfare - and a lot of it!