Saturday, November 03, 2012

CFR: US President Obama’s Renewable Energy Jobs Comes at High Cost to Taxpayers


The highly connected and the alleged most influential think thank, the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) on their blog says that US President Obama’s subsidies to green energy industry comes at the great cost to US taxpayers.
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that energy-related tax preferences will cost Americans $5.4 billion this year. Half of this, $2.7 billion, will benefit green sectors: $1 billion in nuclear subsidies, $1.3 billion in wind-energy credits for electricity production, and $400 million in solar-energy property credits.

So-called “section 1603” renewable energy grants, part of the 2009 fiscal stimulus package, will cost taxpayers a further $5.8 billion. If we assume that the grants are awarded across sectors in the last five months of this year as they were in the first seven, then the nuclear, solar, and wind energy sectors will receive $4 billion of this, boosting total green-sector subsidies to $6.7 billion this year.

Taxpayers will also provide $700 million in energy-efficient property credits. The credits apply mainly to solar, though we don’t know the precise allocation – so we leave it out of the figure, which therefore understates the cost of solar-backed jobs.

Dividing the total wind, solar, and nuclear subsidies by the number of Americans employed in these sectors (252,000), they are currently generating jobs at an average annual cost to taxpayers of over $29,000. Wind jobs cost taxpayers nearly $47,000 per job per year.

By way of comparison, the coal, oil, and gas sectors receive $2.7 billion in subsidies annually, and employ about 1.4 million Americans. The taxpayer-cost per job in these sectors is therefore just over $1,900.

The bottom line is that green-energy jobs cost taxpayers, on average, 15 times more than oil, gas, and coal jobs. Wind-backed jobs cost 25 times more.
That’s how cronyism works; taxpayers subsidize political pet projects operated and maintained by allies and friends. In return, the benefactors reciprocate through generous campaign donations, silent partnerships and other unscrupulous means of compensation.

This dynamic will hardly change no matter who wins next week in the presidential elections.

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