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Letter: Solar and wind not viable without taxpayer subsidies

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Millcreek Canyon in Salt Lake City Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Salt Lake County kicked a Mill Creek Canyon Transportation Study to study focuses on unique issues surrounding Mill Creek Canyon including overflow parking, traffic congestion, cyclist and pedestrian safety. The study will also offer solutions for managing or reducing vehicle travel in the canyon and enhancing connectivity to the public transportation system.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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The 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Energy identifies $37.16 billion in federal subsidies for electrical power in the 2010 fiscal year. Per megawatt-hour, natural gas, oil, and coal received 64 cents, hydropower 82 cents, nuclear $3.14, wind $56.29, and solar an appalling subsidy of $775.64.

For every tax dollar subsidy to coal, oil, and natural gas, wind received $88 and solar $1212. As for electrical power generated, wind and solar provided 2.3 percent of U.S. electricity while fossil fuels provided 78 percent or 34 times the electricity from renewables.

The truth is that wind and solar are not viable without continuous taxpayer subsidies. Furthermore, fossil fuels paid over $10 billion in taxes in 2009 while wind and solar are heavily subsidized.

This raises a radical idea. Eliminate all federal energy subsidies — an energy plan that makes financial sense for overburdened taxpayers.

Gary Sandquist

Salt Lake City

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