The Corporate Welfare – A Gift To Executives
Through last year, fossil fuel subsidies in the US amounted to $20B.
About $4B for coal and $16B for oil.
These are direct subsidies from the Federal and State governments.
Direct. This does not include the virtual “give-a-way” of mining and drilling rights on Federal land or other indirect subsidies.
Now the energy department is going to additionally subsidize energy producers to stockpile coal to the tune of about $15/tn. They don’t need it, just store it near their power plants.
Coal Power Is Being Shuttered
Meanwhile, we are taking coal-fired power plants offline at a record pace – or converting some to natural gas. Natural gas and renewables are cheaper and power companies are moving over.
Three plants alone in Texas supplied power to about 4M homes. They don’t need the capacity from coal anymore.
That’s just over half the closures for this year, amounting to 7.8k MW. In 2015 and 2016, 18k MW and 13k MW were taken offline respectively. Next year, another 13k MW of coal power is expected to be removed.
Energy’s Growth Opportunity
So, the coal mines are still closing. As the industry sheds jobs, the renewable power industry is creating new jobs.
Meanwhile, as the administration wants to sink dollars into a dying coal industry, they are seeking to reduce or eliminate subsidies for renewables, which are generating new jobs. If you don’t believe in any subsidies, great. But, you can’t rationalize the President’s energy priorities in any way that makes economic sense no matter your thoughts on subsidies.
Job Training Programs
The proposed budget from President Trump seeks to cut jobs training programs that would prepare people to move from coal to renewables. The cuts run about $166M for the training programs.
The President’s policies take money from the people who voted for him and gives more money to the executives running companies in dying industries.