The Trump Administration Shouldn't Emulate the Obama Administration’s Crony Energy Style
Let’s Finally End This Cycle, Shall We?
We here at Less Government acknowledge and appreciate Reality.
And we are unfortunately forced to spend a lot of time positively asserting Reality - because so many people steadfastly refuse to accept it.
One of these Reality facets - is that “green energy”…is neither green nor energy. It is fake energy - and fake friendly to the environment.
Solar, wind and the like are awful returns on your energy investment dollar. On their own - and even more so when compared to real energy sources like coal and oil.
And fake energy sources - claiming to be “green” - are absolutely awful for the environment.
Spent solar panels - must be handled as if they are nuclear waste. Wind turbines - also must be made of toxic materials. And wind turbine farms - are giant bird blenders. They mow down hundreds of thousands of fowl per annum.
And of course - these fake energy sources can not exist without massive infusions of government cash. When the subsidies go away - so too do the fake energy companies.
If you are so awful at whatever it is you do that you need government money to continue to exist - you shouldn’t continue to exist.
As we have always said: Government doesn't pick winners and losers - it picks losers at the expense of winners.
Government takes money from winners - people who have succeeded, and thus pay taxes - and hand it to losers who have proven they can not succeed, and thus need government money.
Good ideas are…good ideas. And require no government money. No one needs to subsidize ice cream.
Fake energy…is an awful idea. And thus requires tons of government money.
The Barack Obama Administration loved bad ideas. And LOVED spending tons of government money on them. Fake energy - was a particular love thereof.
And why did the Obama Administration engage in this inanity - aside from ideological idiocy? Why, crony idiocy of course.
Thankfully, finally - the Barack Obama Administration is in the rearview mirror. We now have the Donald Trump Administration - which has thankfully spent a great deal of its time undoing what its predecessor did.
But unfortunately - some habits die hard. Like heaping government money upon people who aren’t hacking it on their own.
The Trump Administration’s Energy Department - is poised to continue this awful Obama Administration Energy Department practice. Only with different government-money crony-recipients:
“In January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unanimously rejected a profoundly anti-competitive proposal by the Energy Department to provide billions in subsidies to old, unprofitable power plants. After the exceptional political blowback from its attempt to pick winners (or more aptly, subsidize losers), Energy Department officials are back to the drawing board. But have they learned?
“The early signs indicate a clear ‘no.’ Key political appointees at the Energy Department (DOE) are ignoring evidence and bypassing their own in-house experts to funnel financial aid to unprofitable power plants. The motives couldn’t be more obvious - the same politically-tied companies that drove the last proposal are back at it again because they can’t compete in the marketplace.”
Fantastic. More government money - for more political cronies. How very Obama Administration of the Trump Administration.
Everyone involved in the process of generating and delivering real energy - and not on the government money recipient list - are vociferously opposed. The opposition - is bipartisan and nigh universal:
“Democrats and former George W. Bush administration energy officials decried the proposal while consumer and environmental groups joined free-market think tanks, including the R Street Institute and The Heritage Foundation, in opposition….
“Broad coalitions - such as the Affordable Energy Coalition - have formed in defense of markets….
“Grid operators strongly opposed the department’s proposal, citing deep anti-competitive concerns and saying it was not necessary to preserve grid reliability. FERC’s decision echoed this sentiment….
“Heavy industry, dismayed by the Energy Department proposal, told Congress that ‘DOE is saying manufacturing jobs are not as important as the jobs at economically obsolete…power plants.’ It’s not the role of the federal government to determine whose job is more important.”
Indeed “it’s not the role of the federal government to determine whose job is more important.”
The Trump Energy Department’s response - was very Obama-esque:
“Almost comically, Energy Department officials responded by suggesting that they needed to ‘help FERC members understand the importance of coal’ to electric reliability and resiliency.”
This DOE proposal - is unadulterated cronyism. No more - no less:
“At the nexus of incompetence and cronyism lies the pinnacle of bad governance. For an administration that promised to drain the swap, energy subsidies do precisely the opposite. Subsidizing unprofitable power plants puts cronies, not America, first….
“Economic fundamentals, not cronyism, should drive electricity investment decisions. Competitive electricity markets align economic incentives and put customers, not well-connected companies, first. Putting private capital at risk, rather than socializing risk through taxpayer or ratepayer-funded subsidies and regulated monopolies, ensures that companies properly assess their investments. This is why competitive markets have outperformed monopoly investments, resulting in cost-efficient investments, increased innovation and more choice for American families and businesses….
“If power plants are profitable, subsidies only serve to pad a company’s bottom line. If they’re not profitable, taxpayers should not prop them up. Rather than keeping them on life support, government should allow economic failures to fail so that those resources are free to flow to more useful purposes elsewhere in the economy.”
Here’s hoping this massive, bipartisan opposition - and their massive assertion of Reality - will lead to a change of heart…and minds:
“In an April 2017 memo, (Energy) Secretary (Rick) Perry requested a study examining the country’s electricity markets and reliability. The Energy Department should seek to enhance competitive markets by following through on technical recommendations from the resulting staff report.
“Furthermore, the department should offer its modeling and other in-house technical capabilities to grid operators and FERC officials as they continue to examine grid resilience. This would complement a broader conservative energy reset, anchored by a commitment to competition, customer choice and good governance.”
We need a change of Obama pace. And, actually, a change from decades of bipartisan DC awful:
“For decades, the federal government has implemented distortionary energy subsidies and regulations. Further undermining competitive markets and pouring billions in subsidies to cronies is a surefire way to harm all energy customers, stifle innovation and promote energy dependence on handouts. Congress should press the administration for a course correction - or else members will face the wrath of dismayed voters with higher energy bills this fall.”
Let us, finally, return to an actual free market energy system - and thereby reassert just a little bit of Reality in DC.
If you all would, please.
This first appeared in Red State.