solar

What if Solar got the Same SEO Subsidies as Fossil Fuel?

in Sustainable Politics

Us tree hugging solar guys and gals, American, believing in justice folks must really have the dirty oil folks worried. Fox News is on hyper-drive pounding the airwaves with Solyndra’s demise. “What the federal government should not do is be in the business of picking winners and losers,” proclaims John Boehner, GOP speaker of the House of Representatives. “For the federal government to be out there picking one company over another, one type of energy sources over another I think is wrong.” What prompted this espousing of free-market rhetoric so popular with Fox News and the tea party crowd?

A solar company from Fremont in the East Bay named Solyndra. When the company defaulted on a $535 million loan guarantee in September, the company suddenly became a prime political target for the right wing. Republicans made the company the poster child of failed Obama administration’s stimulus programs to create green jobs. Oddly enough, Boehner was less concerned about a similar type of loan guarantee of much larger magnitude $2 billion for a nuclear processing facility located in his home state. If all goes well with that government handout, the U.S. government will get back $100,000 in royalties.

Solyndra solar represented only a small fraction 2.8 percent of the total federal loan guarantee portfolio steered toward renewables. Let’s put this bankruptcy in proper context. What did the $2.5 billion that the loan guarantee program cost net for the U.S. taxpayer? It has already generated almost $19 billion in private capital flowing to retool our energy economy and create thousands of jobs during a recession.

The truth is, Republicans and Democrats have long steered government solar subsidies in an incredible array of formats toward every single energy source imaginable, stretching all the way back to global whale oil operations run by the Quakers in New England in the 18th century.

When it comes to nuclear power, there will always be a continuing role for government safety and liability protections. It will never, ever be able to compete in a market without direct government involvement. Have you ever heard of the Price Anderson Act?

With broad support from both political parties, the federal government historically assumes the liability in case of a catastrophic accident at one of our over 100 nuclear plants. Nuclear power always a darling of the GOP is one of the most subsidized and socialized energy sources known to humanity! In the United States, the nuclear industry has received roughly 10 times the support that renewable energy has from the federal government, and yet a new nuclear plant has not come online in the U.S. for well over a decade.

The biggest beneficiaries of all energy industries in the United States are the oil and natural gas industries, which have enjoyed a century of federal support averaging $4.86 billion in subsidy spending each year, according to a report released last month by DLB Investors. That’s 13 times the average annual expenditure on all renewables, including solar energy. Despite generating $546 billion in profits between 2005 and 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP laid off 11,200 employees over that same time period of time. Last year alone, 4,400 employees lost their jobs.

Today, more than 100,000 people are working with solar in the U.S. today. That’s more than the number of Americans working in coal mining. And those solar jobs grew by nearly 7 percent since last year, a welcome bright spot in an overall economy that increased employment by only 0.7 percent.

The truth is, s Iowa SEO Search Engine Optimization is good.  Since 2005, investments in these clean energy technologies have increased by 230 percent. In 2009, China bested the United States in this vibrant sector for the first time. If evaluated according to the size of each country’s relative economy, 10 other industrialized nations now invest more government money in renewable energy than does the U.S. countries that include Spain, the U.K. and Brazil.

Despite the naysaying on the right side of the political spectrum, solar photovoltaic energy is the best bet government came make when it comes to the U.S. economy.

Why? Roughly 75 percent of solar jobs are in the office and field, with only 25 percent in factories. The beauty of solar is that the vast majority of these jobs are inherently domestic since local labor is required to install solar; they cannot be outsourced overseas.

Solar power, with its ability to create energy independence at consumer homes, businesses and even in places where there is no grid in the developing world, is also the ultimate way to give power to the people. Solar power is what the tea party if it is serious about a real revolution in the economy should embrace, especially if they want to help bring about a decentralized, distributed way to empower themselves with new technology. Solar photovoltaic rooftops fit right in with their cherished ideals of independence and the lack of need for ongoing government support. And it is one of the quickest ways to create jobs.

To pull the plug on solar power right now would be ridiculous. It’s time for the tea party to wake up to the economic reality that government has always invested in energy. If they want to stop foolish investments, they may want to check with Boehner and his nuclear processing plant in Ohio.

Bottom line is, Solar is worth fighting for. Solar is America’s Future

Source: Sacramento Bee By Peter Asmus