Comments about ‘Readers' forum: No to 'green' solutions’

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Published: Saturday, Sept. 4 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

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utah guy

Yeah, lets never make any changes. As a society we should just stagnate and never progress. Sounds great.

Baron Scarpia

The reality is that fossil fuel energy and infrastructure enjoy massive subsidies that distort prices and keep new cleaner, domestic, and price stable alternatives from taking hold.

Since the 19th century, the federal government has funded the building of railroads to transport coal from mines to coal-fired power plants. It has built dams and pipelines for gas and oil. It has subsidized water for the generation of steam for coal, gas, and nuclear power. Today, the federal government still subsidizes fossil fuels from the rebates, incentives, and reduced taxes. Tax dollars support the insurance and waste maintenance of nuclear power. Our taxes also support military operations in oil-based nations. The list goes on and on (check out a NY Times piece over the summer that highlighted all the subsidies just for oil alone!).

Obama proposed eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels, but too many politicians (both GOP and Dems from coal states) baulked at the prospect, calling it a tax increase!

The reality is that subsidies have shaped our energy infrastructure for over 150 years. Criticisms of incentives for renewable energy is really hypocritical in light of all the subsidized support dirty energy infrastructure has enjoyed since the beginning.

Blue

What a short-sighted letter!

Mr. Beus is saying that it's "bad" to invest tax dollars in new clean energy technology that holds the potential to significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil...

...but it's "good" to spend far more tax dollars (and lives) on military programs and foreign aid to prop up our access to foreign oil.

Nonsense!

(And BTW, taxpayers spend billions each year subsidizing the oil, gas, and coal industries.)

Zac

It's not about "never making changes", it's about some individuals or companies bringing a product to market that is "green", efficient, worthwhile, etc., with their own monies, not the taxpayers.

One of the reasons individuals and companies are holding on to their retained earnings; they don't know what is going to happen. We know there will be higher taxes soon, which means: less to spend on payroll/benefits, less to spend on equipment/buildings, and where it concerns new technology/green products, less to spend on research and development.

True, this uncertainty wasn't helped by Bush (paraphrasing) we need to discard the free market to save the free market (which should have made liberals just jump for joy), to The Obama exponentially expanding the debt and spending on what was all ready an "unsustainable" (used by some demos) debt.

Esquire

Isn't Glen Beck making boatload of money on his "movement"? We should ban him, too.

It's too bad that innovation is rejected by conservatives. I guess that's why they are called conservatives. Can't improve life on any front.

dave

utah guy | 1:12 a.m. Sept. 4, 2010

You defined conservatism as it is practiced in Utah.

camotim

btw, where are the people who blamed Bill O'Reilly for Tillman the Killer's murder now? Why are they not blaming Al Gore for the rampage by environmental whacko Lee at the Discovery Channel office building?

Aikidoka

Cutting down pollution is "no-win"? Even if you don't believe in climate change you can't deny that cleaner air would be a good thing.

jackhp

"We know there will be higher taxes soon, which means: less to spend on payroll/benefits, less to spend on equipment/buildings, and where it concerns new technology/green products, less to spend on research and development."

This doesn't make sense. Plenty of companies pay little to no taxes. Why? Because they spend MORE on payroll/benefits, MORE on equipment/buildings and MORE on research and development.

The simple truth is if you, as a business owner, believe you are paying too much in taxes then the easiest way to reduce them is to invest more in your people and your business. To wit, if you pay your employees more then they will pay more in taxes and you will pay less.

Not_Scared

"The reality is that fossil fuel energy and infrastructure enjoy massive subsidies that distort prices and keep new cleaner, domestic, and price stable alternatives from taking hold."

"The annual cost of asthma is estimated to be nearly $18 billion."

How do you qualify the cost of lost tourism when people see this ugly air over SLC?

There the cost of defending oil. The war in Iraq cost a trillion dollars. How much to we pay defending Saudi Arabia?

Conservatives were against stopping smoking in public venues, smog devices on cars, energy adsorbing steering columns, seat belts, cash standards for bumpers and even airbags.

Back to the question: what have conservatives been right about: that Beck can restore honor in lives?

Eco-Weenie

"Green" energy subsidies far exceed those given to real sources of energy.

On a per unit of actual energy generated basis, solar and wind power are subsidized approx 15 times as much as nuclear, 50 times as much as coal, 100 times as much as natural gas, and 200 times as much as petroleum. Ethanol is subsidized 190 times as much as petroleum.

Green energy will never take hold for anything other than peaking power because it is technically inferior - it only works part time in the case of wind and solar and uses enormous amounts of land. Take away the massive subsidies and green power will fade away (as it should).

Zac

"if you pay your employees more then they will pay more in taxes and you will pay less"

Next time you get a paycheck, look at the stub. Look at the taxes that get taken from your gross pay. Those taxes are paid by you. Something that most employees don't know or care about, is that the employer has to match those taxes that you pay. That makes the above quote false.

jackhp

@ Zac 1:43 p.m.

Regardless of the fact that you are now changing your argument (we all know you were speaking of income taxes in your original comment) you're still wrong.

Let's hypothesize. You said that "we know there will be higher taxes soon". This intimates someone already making at least than $250K/yr in taxable income (for a married person filing jointly) which puts that person in the 33% tax bracket. Let's say this person has five employees making $30K/yr each. If she decides to pay each employee $5K/yr more then her taxable income goes down by $25K and her income taxes decrease $8250 while her payroll taxes only increase $1912.50 for a net tax decrease of $6337.50.

Would you like to try again?

Gus Talwynd

"Green Solutions" would be solutions. Would you deny the possibility of solving a problem when the solution is not solved by your "solution". This is particularly relevent when you may not have a solution.

A solution is a solution. It need not be politically-driven. It just needs to be a viable solution! Or would you prefer keeping the problem so avoid the "green solution"?

mark

"Something that most employees don't know or care about, is that the employer has to match those taxes that you pay"

Well, Zac, that sure ain't true.

mark

"On a per unit of actual energy generated basis, solar and wind power are subsidized approx 15 times as much as nuclear, 50 times as much as coal, 100 times as much as natural gas, and 200 times as much as petroleum. Ethanol is subsidized 190 times as much as petroleum."

I would love to know, Eco weenie, where you are getting these numbers, and what costs your source is using to come up with these numbers.

the truth

As The letter writer said:

"The truth is that Edison, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Samuel Morse, etc. achieved great things on their own dimes not by hoodwinking taxpayers into footing huge bills for them."


THEY did NOT get federal money,

THEY did NOT befit from public colleges or public univerties,

in fact most did NOT even graduate from a unversity,

and wright bros and many others did NOT even graduate from high school,



And yet them and many others like Gates, Jobs, etc,


have built great business and industries,
that collectively employs millions, and made many millionaires,


what governmentt programs have ever done that?

NONE,


well... they have made a many rich public servants by taking money away from the citizens.



when everyone one is on the dole,

when government punishes success,

when you are chained by regulation, control and taxation, and mountains of redtape,


you destroy the soul

of personal motivation.

RedShirt

To "mark | 7:11 p.m." go look it up. It is all over the place.

The Institute for Energy Research lists solar subsidies at over $23 per megawatt hour. See "Expensive Solar Power Continues to Be Built in the U.S.: Why?"

Eco-Weenie

@Mark 7:11 p.m. - "I would love to know, Eco weenie, where you are getting these numbers, and what costs your source is using to come up with these numbers."

The data is from the US Department of Energy. Google for the name of the report:

"Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007"

See Tables ES5 & ES6. You'll need a calculator to divide the per unit subsidies to arrive at the multiples shown above.

Note that the data in the report doesn't include the huge $100 billion giveaway to green energy in Obama's stimulus package, so that the numbers I reported underestimate the subsidies given to green power.

mark

Eco, thanks, I'll go look at it.

But let me ask you, does the data include a trillion dollars plus for wars fought to secure oil?

Also, does it include the costs of the gulf oil spill?

Or the medical costs from various pulmonary problems caused by pollution?

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