As debate rages regarding the extension of the wind-power production tax credit, the Wall Street Journal ran a great article last Friday examining the question of energy subsidies: Who’s really pulling in the sugar from Uncle Sam? According to the Journal, it’s not who the Obama administration would like people to think it is:
The natural gas and oil industry received $2.8 billion in total subsidies, not the $4 billion Mr. Obama claims on the campaign trail, and $654 million for electric power. The biggest winner was wind, with $5 billion. Between 2007 and 2010, total energy subsidies rose 108%, but solar’s subsidies increased six-fold and wind’s were up 10-fold.
And on an apples to apples basis of subsidy dollars per megawatt-hour of energy produced, the situation is even more outrageously skewed:
So on a per megawatt-hour basis, the wind-power people get 88 times the subsidy given to coal, oil and gas, while the solar power people get 1200 times the subsidy given to the fossil fuels.