Pruitt Wants to End Wind/Solar Incentives, But What About Gas and Oil’s?

Just when you thought EPA head Scott Pruitt has run out of evil ways to try to destroy the environment, he decides to pick a new fight against renewable energy. At a Kentucky Farm Bureau event, Pruitt told the audience, ďI would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar.Ē

No doubt, tax incentives have helped the wind and solar industries to establish roots and grow in the United States. As of this past March, renewable energy now accounts for 10 percent of the countryís electricity generation. Clean energy probably wouldnít have stood a chance against the existing energy giants without some assistance.

According to Pruitt, that assistance isnít fair.

ďIíd let [renewables] stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources, and let utilities make real-time market decisions on those types of things as opposed to being propped up by tax incentives and other types of credits that occur,Ē elaborated Pruitt.

What Pruitt neglects to note is that itís not just renewable energy that benefits from government earmarks and tax credits. Fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal also receive billions of dollars in benefits. It doesnít level the playing field to take away these incentives from just one energy sector.

Besides, something tells me that the fossil fuel industry would have some major objections to losing out on their government kickbacks, even if it meant suppressing renewable energies. Perhaps thatís why Pruitt left oil, gas and coal out of his suggestion on subsidies.

While fossil fuels collect more in overall incentives, itís only fair to point out they create more energy, too. American wind and solar creators take more government dollars per kWh of electricity produced, so looking at it from that angle, they do receive more help.

However, that ignores the historical context of incentives in the energy industry. Throughout history, renewable energy has collected a sliver of what oil and gas has from the U.S. government. Moreover, fossil fuel companies used to get a lot more in subsidies than renewables collect currently.

Looking at all of those early advantages, itís preposterous to suggest that the renewable energy sector is the one thatís really benefited from government subsidies. Fossil fuels had over a century and hundreds of billions of dollars in head start to become the prominent energy presence they are today. To strip renewables of their subsidies and suggest that suddenly makes it a fair fight is to intentionally ignore all of the help oil and gas have received on its way to this dominance.

At the very least, the government should be willing to support renewables at the rate which it assisted oil and gas companies in their early days. Heck, even if it did wind up costing us more, remember that weíre talking about the difference between clean and dirty energy. Any extra money should be deemed an investment in the planetís future.

If thereís any good news, itís that by Pruittís own admission, ending tax credits for renewable energy would have to come from Congress, not the EPA. Of course, that doesnít mean he wonít try to undermine renewable energy in various other ways, or that he wonít be actively encouraging them to take this action, but unlike with some other issues, at least this climate villain wonít have the sole say on this subject.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

47 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill15 days ago

They should stop all those "incentives"!

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Mike R
Mike R1 months ago

Moron

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Mike R
Mike R1 months ago

Moron

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One Heart i
One Heart inc2 months ago

thanks!!!!

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Adele E Zimmermann
Adele E Zimmermann2 months ago

Just when you think that Scott Pruitt couldn't be a bigger horses's behind, he says "You're wrong. Just watch me!" This man is determined to make our planet unlivable. He must have bought a few acres on Mars. I would be glad to send him there, now, so he can start living in desolation. His descendants here on Earth will be living in a wasteland, too.

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

The USA and Australia are going backwards with these type of leaders Thanks for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Deplorable and sickening Thanks for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

One sick bastard They are stuffing up a great country. Thanks for caring and sharing

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Winn A
Winn Adams2 months ago

Pruitt is not fit for this job.

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