When you add them all up, for all energy sources including ethanol, Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander says taxpayers lose billions each year.
“We need a level playing field and the easiest way, the cleanest way would be to eliminate all energy subsidies,” says Alexander.
But that is unlikely. Industrial giants, oil and coal corporations have been sucking off the federal feeding bottle for more than a century, and their lobby in Washington is no less influential today.
Defenders of the status quo say energy subsidies guarantee a secure and reliable energy source, vital to our economy, vital to our national security.And on a per megawatt basis, fossil fuel subsides deliver energy for pennies on the dollar, compared to expensive green energy, that produces relatively little, for the billions in tax breaks and handouts from Congress.
According to figures from the Energy Information Administration, oil and gas subsidies compute to about 25 cents per megawatt hour, while wind and solar is about $24.
Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK) says taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize some of these technologies and they should be developed on their own.
“I think it’s better to have the free market develop these technologies and these energy sources and compete in a fair market based economy,” says Sullivan, who is Vice chair of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee.