Lowell F., on 10/27/11 3:45 PM
Lowell F., on 10/27/11 7:35 AM
We've written extensively here at Scaling Green on the subject of taxpayer-funded subsidies to the dirty energy industry. That includes our interview with a top energy expert from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, who explained that, although there have been numerous attempts at counting energy subsidies -- ranging from $10 billion a year by the Environmental Law Institute, to the more comprehensive, $52 billion a years by Doug Koplow of EarthTrack - "there’s no one really widely available number where average citizens can say, yeah, this much of my money goes to pay ExxonMobil."
Lowell F., on 10/25/11 1:45 PM
It appears that for ExxonMobil, earning enormous profits, quarter after quarter ($10.7 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2011 alone), isn’t sufficient. In addition to their jaw-dropping profits, ExxonMobil also is fighting hard to ensure that it doesn’t get kicked off the dole.
Lowell F., on 10/21/11 5:44 PM
Over at Grist, David Roberts does a great job explaining the flaws in media coverage generally, and Politico's coverage specifically, of the Solyndra non-scandal. Here's an excerpt:
Mike Casey, on 10/18/11 6:28 PM
We find little that’s gratifying about being right about the Solyndra controversy, in which a fossil fuel-funded slice of the political class swinging wildly solar energy. These pundits and politicians are going after solar’s viability and trying to hurt it as an industry, despite its proven job creating potential. It’s almost as if they hate American job growth if it’s in an energy industry that isn’t drilling or mining. There’s little gratification in finding that this sort of disciplined venom is very similar to what we were predicting a year ago in the salon we hosted at the Solar Power International (SPI) 2010 conference and trade in Los Angeles.
Lowell F., on 10/12/11 2:26 PM
A recent, blockbuster article in Bloomberg detailed how the dirty energy baron Koch brothers – who, the article points out, “blazed a path to riches -- in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations” – flouted U.S. law by “[selling] millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.” The connection between oil, corruption, and terrorism detailed in the Bloomberg article sounds like something out of the film Syriana. But in this case, it’s not fiction, it’s absolutely real: the connection between oil, corruption and Middle East-based terrorism cannot be clearer.
Merriam-Webster: Irish Confetti - “A rock or brick used as a missile.”
We recently wrote about professional clean energy critic Andrew Morriss being schooled by Center for American Progress’s Kate Gordon before a friendly crowd at the fossil industry-funded CATO Institute. Back in April, Mr. Morriss couldn’t answer Ms. Gordon’s inconvenient points about the huge government welfare checks received by the dirty energy industries that fund him while he rails against pro-clean energy policies.
Morriss, you see, is a front man for the front group, the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University; the Koch-funded Property & Environment Research Center (PERC); and the ExxonMobil and Koch-funded Institute for Energy Research. I’m guessing that he, like others in the cottage industry of anti-clean industry front groups, has been trying to raise more dirty energy money by showing he can put an equals sign between the Solyndra bankruptcy and broad pro-clean energy policies.
In fact, that’s the only explanation I can come up with for why Mr. Morriss would volunteer for another embarrassment. The latest one took place on the Dylan Ratigan Show. Morriss once again blundered right into the core question for which people of his kind have no answer: Why small government advocates ignore $52 billion or more in taxpayer welfare to dirty energy interests – but have the time to waste blathering about how pro-clean energy policies aren’t a good use of our money.
Mr. Ratigan was having none of it, starting off the interview with a round of Irish Confetti: "…we do not have a free market for energy, because the actual cost of fossil fuel in our economy is not reflected at the pump; the military’s not in there, the environment’s not in there, and there’s a wide variety of differing fuel subsidies and tax treatments for all sorts of different fuel sources depending on their relation with our government. So, how can a marketplace decide the fuel source, when one fuel, particularly being gasoline and fossil fuels, have such a substantial comparative subsidy?”
Morriss, stumbling: “Right, right, well, you know, that’s a good point, but the answer to one bad subsidy is not to have two bad subsidies…”
Ratigan (cutting off Morriss): "But I didn’t say that, I didn’t bring you on to indict the president. I’m with you, the president that’s crazy, what they’re doing is crazy, let’s not waste our time on it. But let’s talk about the actual problem, which is that the marketplace cannot function if the actual cost of what is in it is rigged. And in this case, we are not paying the actual cost of the fossil fuels, and as a result, no one wants to see $8 a gallon for anything, when I can get $4 a gallon and pass the military costs and all the rest of it off. I guess my question to you is, what would the marketplace do if it was faced with paying the real cost of fossil fuel at the pump?”
Lowell F., on 10/2/11 6:06 PM
Courtesy of Grist, check out this amazing, inspirational story of a teenager whose work on lowering the cost of solar power is garnering plaudits - and grants.