January 06, 2007

Energy subsidies

From an interesting paper in Ecology and Society,
Annual global energy subsidies currently total $200 billion (A. de Moor. 2002. The perversity of government subsidies for energy and water. Page 368 in J. P. Cinch, K. Schlegelmilch, R.-U. Sprenger, and U. Triebswetter, editors. Greening the budget: budgetary policies for environmental improvement. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK). OECD countries spend some $82 billion each year subsidizing energy production, mostly through tax breaks, cheap provision of public infrastructure and services, subsidized capital, and price support (OECD 1997). Globally, more than 80% of these subsidies are for the use of fossil fuels, among the most polluting energy sources.
And also,
Economic activity is a consequence of humans striving to improve their well-being.
Well said. Brian Czech would have us instead believe that economic growth is imposed upon us by politicians.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, the Nuclear industry is the most publically subsidized industry there is...as one example, just look at the Price Anderson Act that lets a nuclear reactor off the hook for any damages above $9 Billion dollars, and the fact that every insurance policy in American has a waiver for any damages caused by nuclear incidents.

    If you unravel DOE's Nuclear Power 2010 goals, it would see tax papers subdizing a new generation of reactors to the tune of as much as $7.5 trillion dollars.