Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Energy: Release the Market!

 I'm not for or against any particular kind of energy. We need it all.

I do, however, oppose any subsidies or penalties for any kind of energy.

Petroleum, for instance, gets a gigantic "gunboat subsidy" -- American warships and troops protecting the Suez Canal, and so on. Our ring of bases along the borders of Russia, Iran, and China is likewise a subsidy -- intended to secure oil supplies to us and our "allies". On the other hand, petrol also has numerous penalties. For instance, auto emissions are now so insane that what comes out of a new car's tailpipe is cleaner than the average sample of ambient air. That's just dumb. Petrol supplies in the US are increasingly at risk because it's now almost impossible to build or expand refining or storage capacity, due to ever-tightening zoning and environmental laws . Refineries are aging and locked into footprints they can't grow out of; ensuring more maintenance failures into the future.

Wind energy likewise gets both subsidies and penalties.  At the same time energy companies are heavily subsidized to bring more wind energy online, turbines don't last forever and the increasing number of decommissioned turbines fills up gigantic landfills fast. American laws have virtually shut down mining for the precious metals wind energy needs, so we're shipping vast amounts of wealth to China to supply our expanding demand for those materials.

Nuclear has the same dynamic going on. The Price-Anderson act is a massive subsidy to nuclear energy. There are no insurance companies that are currently willing to cover the damages nuclear plants can cause -- witness the inability of even the Japanese government to be able to fully pay for the damage caused by just ONE Fukashima. Plus, the cost of burying (or storing) spent nuclear waste is huge -- and energy companies are largely excused from paying for it. Instead, governments do.

Get rid of all of the subsidies and penalties for all forms of energy, and allow the market to sort out which one is the safest and most efficient.

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Written by Marc Montoni <>, April 2021.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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