Comments about ‘Letter: Solar and wind not viable without taxpayer subsidies’

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

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embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

...it's about the future. You know, the future that our children face. President Obama rightly sees beyond the next 4 years. Mitt Romney's plan looks like so much scorched-earth. Will your children be proud of you?

Sandy, UT

So sorry for you Gary because you are not comparing apples to apples, besides where do you think most of that lung clogging gunk in our Wasatch valley's comes from?

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

Let's be honest about energy subsidies.

The federal government has been backing nuclear since the 1950s, and other fossil fuels have had federal and state subsidies throughout the 20th century. Consequently, our entrenched fossil fuel infrastructure -- pipelines, sea ports for imported oil and gas, power lines connecting coal plants to transmission, railroad lines connecting coal mines with coal-fired power plants, government programs to treat black-lung disease of coal miners, our military's escorting oil tankers out of the Mideast, write-offs for drilling, water development -- ALL have been developed leveraging government subsidies that fossil fuels continue to enjoy.

What's frustrating for renewable energy is that much of the old energy infrastructure and incentives (e.g., write-offs for drilling, water subsidies) can't benefit wind and solar because they don't require drilling or water use. Thus, they need their own set of incentives.

The problem with renewable subsidies is that they've been designed to expire from time to time whereas most of the fossil fuel subsidies are PERMANENT in tax code. Thus, we've seen renewable boom and bust cycles due to the sunsetting of policies.

We need permanent, stable policies for renewables.

one old man
Ogden, UT

The headline could also read: "Oil and Coal Profits Not Viable Without Taxpayer Subsidies."

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

Too bad...

After reading your letter and insightfulness,

Maybe you should write a letter the LDS brethren asking them to teardown our brand new LDS Stake Center here in Farmington with all those stupid, wasteful PV Solar Panels.

[Does this letter writer realize that renewable energy costs are High in the initial investments and like any worthy investment, require loans and other assistance for the initial start-up costs, but are ZERO forever there after -- Kind of like building huge Hydro-Electric Dams....
It's called Reccuring vs. NonRecurring costs - a business term you might not be familiar with.]

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Energy chemist Nate Lewis has looked at future energy needs and how to meet them. In 2006, we used 14 terawatts of energy. Even assuming minimal population increase, slow economic growth, and a staggering 500 percent improvement in energy efficiency worldwide relative to current U.S. levels, the world will use 28 terawatts of energy in 2050.

We would have to build 10,000 nuclear reactors, completing one every other day, to get just 10 terawatts. To get just 3 terawatts of wind power, we would need to erect a million state-of-the-art turbines, and we would also have to invent a way to store that power. To get 10 terawatts of solar power by 2050, Lewis calculates, we’d need to cover 1 million roofs with panels every day from now until then.

Increasing our carbon fuel usage will devastate the environment, and anyway, most of the easy-to-drill oil has already been extracted. We need to start thinking outside the box on this. Way outside the box. We cannot keep growing the economy using the same irrational model we have embraced in recent years.

Tooele, UT

Re: "We need permanent, stable policies for renewables."

Sure we do. Not that we're likely to get anything approaching a stable policy from the Obama regime, but we do need a thoughtful, careful, sensible long-term policy.

Like Romney's.

What we don't need is Obama's deranged, political-patronage subsidy, directed almost entirely toward Obama cronies and contributors, for an assortment of goofy, not-ready-for-prime-time "technologies" that will rightly end up consigned to the dustbin of history, but only after filching inordinate sums from taxpayers' pockets.

Buford Buckley
Provo, UT

Drill, baby, drill. We've got it. Let's use it.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I'm going to use the same logic that many repubs on this board have used when speaking about oil and gas subsidies...

When you take away subsidies, the cost is passed onto someone else... Any guesses on who ends up paying more?

Keep the subsidies for green energy.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

LDS Treehugger,
did the church pay for those PV panels, or did BO? They were probably imported from China.

provo, Utah

It's a jump start. Republicans liek to point out that sustainables are getting more than oil and gas for this ONE year.

We have a long way to go to make up for the last 80 years of subsidies to big oil. Lots of making up to do.

And Solyndra went out of business because the price of solar panels have PLUMMETED to record lows. They are 1/4 the cost they 6 years ago when I put them on my house. Try to actually research what you are going to be against rather than taking a talking head's word for it.

American Fork, UT

"Drill, baby, drill. We've got it. Let's use it." I'm all for that, because it's part of my livelyhood. It will see me through the balance of my life. Problem is, we really haven't got it, not much. And now is when we should be planning for when we have none at all. But we're not going to do that, so I suspect it will take some crisis to bring reality home.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

What are the Republican proposals to decrease demand of fossil fuels? Maybe there isn't a supply problem as much as a usage problem.

Where are those Republican energy saving programs and proposals? Where's the ingenuity, the leadership, etc. on that issue? We can't simply drill forever. Demand must be decreased.

Bountiful, UT

For renewable energy sources, there has to be a reasonable return on investment for those sources. Right now, it is not there.

Until there is a reasonable return on investment, nothing will happen to move investment in renewable sources forward.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

CHS 85
Sandy, UT
What are the Republican proposals to decrease demand of fossil fuels? Maybe there isn't a supply problem as much as a usage problem.



Japan makes Electric Hybrids getting 50+ mpg
Germany makes turbo-Diesels getting 60+ mpg

Maybe it's because they are paying $8 per gallon of gas,
Could it be because the rest of the world is actually paying the REAL cost for oil.

Their Governments don't subsidize their Oil industries,
And their Governments aren't spending $Trillions fighting war in the Middle East for it.

They are too busy paying for Healthcare and Higher Education for their citizens,
not lining the pockets of crooks on WallStreet.

Centerville, UT

LDS liberal, Your comment "Maybe it's because they are paying $8 per gallon of gas, Could it be because the rest of the world is actually paying the REAL cost for oil." Is one of those statements not born in reality. We pay the same real cost for oil in the US that any other country pays. The reason the costs in other countries is so high is not the real cost but tacked on taxes. Europeans pay more taxes per gallon than they pay for the price of the gas per gallon. Norway has the highest tax on fuel france is close to it. Paris prices hit $10.00 per gallon in March. I recently saw a chart for the US and European countries, the price of fuel was equal across the board. oh and what do they do with those outlandish taxes? They certainly don't build highways.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

LDS Lib,
“Maybe it's because they are paying $8 per gallon of gas,
Could it be because the rest of the world is actually paying the REAL cost for oil.”:

There you go, making stuff up again.

Make no mistake: the price of the raw gas is about the same as the U.S., but Europe taxes gasoline at a higher rate. At the moment, taxes in France make up about 70 percent of the pump price. For comparison, the U.S. federal gasoline tax was 18.4 cents per gallon, with each State adding between 10 and 33 cents of tax. That makes the maximum gasoline tax rate 17% in the U.S.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

JSF and Lost in DC,

I don't mean to speak for LDS Liberal (he is capable of doing so himself) but just because the Europeans tax gasoline heavily does not mean that the resulting expense is not representative of gasoline's real cost.

As a fossil fuel, gasoline has externalities or costs that are not fully charged at sale. This includes the cost of cleaning the water (oil spills) and air (pollution) as well as taking care of the resulting health issues. Also, gasoline taxes typically pay for road construction and maintenance.

We can argue about how much these costs are. But they are significant and taxation helps to pay for them. There is no free market solution to such externalities that I know of.

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . just because the Europeans tax gasoline heavily does not mean that the resulting expense is not representative of gasoline's real cost."

No Eurosocialist state uses their deranged, exorbitant gas taxes to address gasoline's "real" cost.

Taxes are like meth to liberals and socialists. They can never get enough, and nearly every cent goes up the nose of some wasteful, socialist, vote-buying, tax-and-spend program.

They've got that tax "jones" in their bones.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Twin Lights

nice obfuscation.

when ripe, most apples are red, some are green or yellow.

when ripe, oranges are orange.

while both are fruits, it's generally not a good idea to compare them.

I use this common metaphore to describe the obfuscation inluded in your last comment.

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