President Trump Seeking Major Cuts to Renewable Subsidies

Official White House Photo of President Trump

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon – According to Bloomberg President Trump wants to slash $1.6 billion off federal subsidies for renewable energy.

Trump Again Seeks Deep Cuts in Renewable Energy Funding

By Ari Natter
7 March 2019, 19:00 GMT+10
 Updated on 8 March 2019, 03:01 GMT+10

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would see its $2.3 billion budget slashed by about 70 percent, to $700 million, under President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget request, which is set to be released on Monday.

The request is unlikely to be granted by Congress, especially with Democrats in charge of the House, but the figure represents an opening bargaining position for negotiations by the White House.

The Energy Department declined to comment and the White House Office of Management and Budget didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

It’s a shutdown budget,” said Mike Carr, who served as the No. 2 official within the division under President Barack Obama. “That’s apparently what they want to signal to their base — they still want to shut these programs down.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-07/trump-said-to-again-seek-deep-cuts-in-renewable-energy-funding

My question – why does anyone think renewables still need Federal subsidies?

Greens have been telling us for years that renewables are now cheaper than coal. Surely all we have to do is wait a few years for simple economics to drive the great energy transformation.

Advertisements

119 thoughts on “President Trump Seeking Major Cuts to Renewable Subsidies

  1. Direct subsidies are a minor part of the “renewables ” game, while doing away with mandated purchase first-in-line contracts for intermittent sources like wind and solar are a requirement for the viability of those sources.
    If supply contracts were written to reflect that grid electricity is a service, not a commodity, and the “green” suppliers had to reflect the cost of having spinning backup for their green prayer wheels, the purported cost advantage of wind and solar would go away.

    • Energy markets dispatch according to their marginal cost. Wind plants have essentially zero marginal cost. They typically bid their power in at -$24/MWh to represent the value of the production tax credit. If they’re paid -$23/MWh for energy and $24/MWh for the tax credit, they still net $1/MWh, so it makes economic sense for them to run.

      As for getting rid of the subsidies, good luck. The states with the most renewable energy per capita are: Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Vermont, North Dakota, and South Dakota. https://www.utilitydive.com/news/great-plains-states-dominate-renewables-generation-in-2018/549846/

      The subsidies support a lot of economic activity in Trump’s base.

      • But also a whole heck of a lot of resentment, especially because of the “tax credits.” That term ISN’T bad, btw. Amongst people afflicted by having to live near these things, amongst people who have lost property value, amongst people whose property is now subjected to eminent domain proceedings for pointless transmission, amongst farmers who now no longer can get aerial spraying because of their neighbor, etc. The vast majority of the people in these areas benefit in no appreciable way. It’s also where the vast majority of the opposition is from and that’s growing. The fight against Big Wind in Vermont is the most fascinating IMO because of that state’s politics. I can answer Eric’s question: it’s because prominent Democrats are well invested, conventional energy workers be damned.

      • It’s the ” too big to fail” projects that have to be tackled by rare politicians with the cojones to do this. Like what adjusted climate data does to the ‘science’, fabricated economic data makes a farce of economic analysis as a decisionmaking tool. I’d quote all the scammer’s “studies” showing wind and solar being cheaper than coal to decide subsidies are no longer necessary.

        Also throw in the end of permits for allowing killing of raptors and bats and fine these people for doing it. There are ways to do this.

      • Trump’s base in the red state of Oklahoma voted last year to stop paying state subsdies to any new wimdnill farms.

        The Oklahoma legislature said if they continued the windmill subsidies, it would bankrupt the state.

      • Salute!

        Folks are forgetting a very big subsidy, and it is exploited by some of those heartland farmers ————- Ethanol!!!! And those folks voted for the Donald in big numbers.

        Until two months ago, the E85 stuff at the gas station was 30 cents or more cheaper than basic, diluted E10. Subsidies per gallon, way I understand.

        Corn that could be grown for food products, maybe traded “as is” across the globe…..

        At the very least, the distilled product could be stored in charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Then sold for powering your SUV or big truck to a social venue and then use it for another purpose! ……………… Just a thot.

        Gums sends….

        • It takes a lot of water to produce ethanol but I’m being told we are running out of fresh water.

    • My amendment – “If supply contracts were written to reflect that grid electricity is a(n essential) service”

      Anyone wishing to take Government money to supply an essential service (such as electricity) should have to guarantee supply. Wind/solar generators should have to ensure they had adequate backup at their own cost in order to supply 24/7/365. This should be equivalent to their name-plate capacity.

      No-one should be allowed to place an intermittent supply on the network with an expectation that others have to cover their shortfalls and intermittency.

    • £50B CAPEX per TWh of storage if they ever had to stand alone. For batteries that last 4 years before renewal AND pumped storage that lasts much longer. BUT both are wholly unnecessary is you forget renewables and replace fossil fuel with zero CO2 nuclear. In the UK the first tranche of CAPEX for a week’s support of an all renewable grid would be £1.2Trillion for a week’s current supply, a reality on the record of dark and windless weeks in winter. That money would buy the 180GW of nuclear @ £5B/GW capacity that we need to replace fossil generation and all our transport and heating using primary fossil fuel now, and give us 180GW capacity that would last 60 years at 3 times the delivery of toady, 24/7. no CO2, no expensive storage and “Smart Grid” fixing problems we needn’t create is necessary.
      nb: These numbers are applicable anywhere, and you can pro rate them as the real cost of renewable capacity producing all the energy supported by storage, not by fossil spinning reserve producing 65% of the pairing and 100% backup when renewables aren’t working. Most electrical engineers know renewables cannot replace fossil use, in most countries, and hydro is the only viable renewable for grid supply. The laws of physics say so. This is where provable renewable science denial is still preferred to science facts, for a fast buck – to no actual environmental benefit in CO2 reduction, of course. Never mind the climate, follow the money.
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/6m662wc311ojopn/IET%20Submission%20BRL%20Catt.pdf?dl=0

  2. These are the type of expenditures that should be at the top of the list for cutting, whenever you are running a deficit. This is why we have chronic deficits. Once a program is started, a group of politicians will defend it no matter what the results. It benefits some group of political activists and the taxpayer is on the hook, FOREVER!!

    • It also benefits that group of politicians with kickbacks. The kickbacks are just disguised as campaign contributions. Never forget, we (i.e., the U.S. of N.A.) have the best government money can buy.

      • “Our” Congress hocked “our” Constitution in order to buy for themselves a socialist manifesto.

    • Advise that the billionaire supporters are welcome to support renewables by filling 8n the void. Private ‘subsidies’ have always been welcome. Can a President not close an agency?

      • That might be an interesting test of Presidential power. Since the President is in charge of the Executive branch could he just fire the whole lot even though Congress has allocated it a budget?

          • Now that’s an interesting idea: a wall of solar panels at the border. Would the Greens object? Would they stand by and let people damage them trying to gain entry into the country? And the money would come from the renewable energy budget, including providing security for the farm.

  3. It’s about time we stop paying for unreliable power scams. No more money wasted like we did with all the Green Energy Obama bailouts that just made his friends rich. Time to shut down other stupid projects like the Hyperloop.

    • So what’s going to happen when we run out of coal and oil? Didn’t think of that, did ya?

      • Unknown,
        Don’t worry about that. You won’t be here when it happens. However, those that are alive then will have nuclear power.

      • When we run out of coal and oil it will be just like when we were killing all of the whales to get their oil before we found oil. Some bright engineer or chemist will figure out a way to capture the methane that comes from cows until we find a truly new energy source and it will be as different from solar and wind as oil, coal, and natural gas are.

        Solar and wind were the first energy source. The have lied incessantly claiming they were new and the only way to reduce emissions. Coal, oil, and natural gas can now be burned with no emissions. If you are brining them contact me. It is a whole lot cheaper than building solar and wind power with battery backup.

      • Unknown (a.k.a. thread hijacking troll): Of course we thought of that. And here’s what we thought:

        1. As John Dilks said, we won’t run out of coal and oil in our lifetimes. We haven’t even hit peak oil yet, and ‘intellectuals’ like you have been screaming about that for over 50 years.

        2. We have enough nuclear fuel to power humanity for millennia.

        Pay attention and try to keep up.

      • Unknown, already taken care of. Government isn’t supposed to be concerning themselves with citizenry a couple of centuries into the future.

        You may be surprised to learn that without being bidden, human ingenuity has been solving all technological problems that have arisen for millennia. They don’t need help from the helpless class.

      • Since the day that we will run out of coal and oil is hundreds of years in the future. There is no need to worry about it now.
        Given the rate of technological advancement, the odds are the problem will be resolved with a technology we haven’t even dreamed of yet.

        • Since the eco-warriors are turning our civilisation back to the 1850’s as fast as they can, we will only be able to solve problems using 1850’s technology. Teachers these days complain that classrooms are too big with 25 students. Try teaching 5 students, because that’s all that would survive if they get their way.

      • Unknown,

        A land-based wind turbine’s service life is probably 25 years. A sea-based turbine probably 15 years due to corrosion. Very rough guess, let’s assume a 100 year supply of coal, a 200 year supply of natural gas. We could go through at least 4 generations of wind turbine installations before we run out of coal. And even more for nat gas.

        Didn’t think about that did ya’?

      • In the last decades dozens of new vast oilfields have been discovered that new ways of recovering it have made. We are not going to run out. Science is learning that oil is actually renewing itself. We know that coal is a process that also renews itself. The more Carbon Dioxide we put back into the environment from sequestration sources like Fossil Fuels insures future sources of energy. Trillions of tons of Carbon are locked up in limestone that technology advances could release it as energy.

      • Unknown – super troll – Try to keep up. in your lifetime and the lifetime of our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren we will never “run out of coal and oil” we have barely scratched the surface of what is available on planet earth. Not to mention the endless supply of energy using the cleanest source around – Nuclear!

        Just last month this was announced. The U.S. Department of the Interior said Thursday that two underground layers in the Delaware, known as the Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation, together contain 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

        That’s the largest pool of oil and gas reserves ever announced by the USGS anywhere in the U.S., propelling the Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas into the nation’s premier zone for energy production with some of the largest recoverable reserves in the world, said New Mexico Oil and Gas Association Executive Director Ryan Flynn.

        https://www.abqjournal.com/1254493/usgs-permian-oil-gas-reserves-largest-ever-found-in-u-s.html

        • We can’t run out of coal & oil, because Unknown and his fellow eco-warriors won’t let us use it. We will be literally dying of cold in the next ice age & not be able to heat ourselves because we can’t get at the coal.

    • Dave, first we have to get the pagan climate collectivists out of government, and our “hallowed” halls of higher education.

  4. Big Green has its tentacles deeply embedded in government, and it will be difficult to detach them. Baby steps, I guess. Chop them off one by one.

  5. Speaking of renewable, I had hoped the subsidies had been written with expirations that would require more than a nod to renew. But no, it’s “progressive.”

    • The greenbacks are clean. The drivers are renewable. The converters are expensive per unit energy produced, this a progressive, affirmative subsidy structure.

  6. “It’s a shutdown budget,” said Mike Carr”

    It is a clarion call for employees to spiff up their resumes and to start applying elsewhere for work.

    It wouldn’t be a problem if there is high demand for bureaucrats whose jobs are to spin nonsense into puff piece press releases or to gin up fairy tales.

  7. From the article: “It’s a shutdown budget,” said Mike Carr, who served as the No. 2 official within the division under President Barack Obama. “That’s apparently what they want to signal to their base — they still want to shut these programs down.”

    That’s exactly right! Shut down the subsidies!

    The Windmill Industry should stand on its own, without subsidies. If they can’t operate at a profit without subsidies, then they shouldn’t be operating.

    The U.S. government should not be distorting the energy markets by subsidizing windmills or industrial solar. Those industries should pay their own way, or get out of the game.

  8. the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would see its $2.3 billion budget slashed by about 70 percent, to $700 million, under President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget request, which is set to be released on Monday.

    The request is unlikely to be granted by Congress, especially with Democrats in charge of the House, but the figure represents an opening bargaining position for negotiations by the White House

    While the House is in charge of allocating the money, the Executive is in change of spending the money the house allocates. If the House allocates more money than a department spends, they can’t force the department to spend more. Let the house put more money in the budget than Trump wishes to spend, and then watch Trump only spend the amount he wanted to anyway leaving a “surplus” for that department.

      • Such an opportunity: A seven foot high linear structure housing batteries and electronics, connected to a layer of solar panels on top, with barbwire along the sides to keep animals from damaging the panels. Built along the southern border, since it is sunny and dry. We could even sell power to Mexico to help pay for it. Otherwise, all the money comes from the renewables budget.

    • Exactly.

      The Constitution says the Executive Branch can’t spend money Congress has not allocated (although everyone looked the other way when Obama spent unallocated funds on DACA) but the Constitution does not require the Executive Branch to spend money that has been allocated. President Trump could just have the agency not spend the money provided for the subsidy.

    • Or he could reorganize that department to focus on nuclear only. That will make the Dems cut the budget for sure.

      • Oh, I like that idea. Either he gets a nice budget for pushing nuclear power or the dems actually cut some spending for once. a win-win either way.

    • John Endicott March 8, 2019 at 6:41 am

      President Nixon tried that, didn’t work. Congress just passes a law saying he must spend the funds for what they were appropriated ( err. stolen) for.

      michael

      • 1) he would still be the spending the money, just not *all* the money – a department not wasting money by spending more than it needs to isn’t against the law. Impounding would he him not spending *any* of the money, which is what the act you are referring to prevents.

        2) He has till the end of the budget year to spend it. Not much congress can do if he holds off spending most of it till the very end of the budget year and then ooops, ran out of time to spend all of it this budget year too bad.

        • and if congress doesn’t like it, let them take him to court, it’s about time impoundment was tested on constitutional grounds (the one case since the act was passed didn’t touch on any constitutional issues).

      • The Senate might not vote in favor of a such bill that originated in the HR; and even if approved by a majority in the S, DJT could veto it. He has enough votes in the HR or the S to block a 2/3 majority in the Congress needed to over ride a veto.

  9. The sun will go dark. The winds will stop blowing. No more renewable drivers. Mother Nature hardest hit.

  10. Folks: As far as the popular press and the public is concerned, we “skeptics” or “lukewarmers” have lost this debate. The single plot that shows temperature anomaly on the left-side vertical axis, Mauna Loa-CO2 concentration levels on the right-side vertical axis, and time (in years) on the horizontal axis, is a “killer”. Yelling “correlation is not causation” ain’t gonna cut it with the innumerate…

      • To MarkW: “Except…correlation.” Mine does. See Climate Central “Global Temperature & Carbon Dioxide”. My only point is the CC plot is simple; if we can not refute it equally simply, we lose…

        • Only on the crudest of levels. Temperatures have gone up, down and sideways while CO2 has been going steadily upwards.
          No correlation there.

        • We don’t have to refute anything. There seems to be an excellent chance nature will. Support for (AGW) climate change policy will be hard to muster if it is snowing in Chicago and NYC in June.

          In more likely terms: people are not likely to pay more to ‘save the climate’ if they do not see the climate changing.

  11. Subsidies are basically corporate welfare problems that stifle innovation.
    If we are going to provide energy subsidies, why not give the money to fusion or liquid salt reactor research where we at least have the possibilty of getiing something back out of it.

  12. Dayum, I wouldn’t mind a $700,000,000 “shutdown budget”. I guess anything under a B is just chump change when it comes to OPM.

  13. And when all of the oil and coal runs out, what are they gonna do? Cry about it? It’s so funny that they want to stay in this oil age, not progress forward into time. Renewables aren’t weak. If you’ve payed attention to all of the new innovations that they’ve done, you’d realize that renewables are the future.

      • Solar and wind are just now being implemented into major cities and infrastructures, that have been powered by gas and coal.

        • By “implemented into” surely you mean “foisted upon”. Keep drinking the Greenie Koolade though. Moron.

          • Whatever. The world is shifting to new ways of energy, and even energy companies such as Shell are realizing that climate change is a real concern, and are trying to act on it by providing cleaner energy sources. All of the big automobile companies are already starting to shift to more electric and hybrid vehicles. It’ll only be a matter of time, and idiots like you will realize that clean energy is the future.

          • Whatever. The world is shifting to new ways of energy

            name them. The big ones that always come up are wind and solar, but as I pointed out neither is new. But have been around for a considerable amount of time and been rejected in favor of more energy dense energy sources. They’re only now being widely used due to government subsidies and mandates – not on any merits of the technologies.

            All of the big automobile companies are already starting to shift to more electric and hybrid vehicles

            Again, old abandoned technology (EV autos actually pre-date ICE autos. there’s reasons why ICE took off and EV was left by the wayside, can you possibly even think of why that might be?) that is only being “shifted to” due to government interference in the market *not* based on the merits of the technology (there’s a reason why, everywhere the subsidies for EVs have come to an end, the sales of those EVs drop like a rock). At least hybrids are somewhat new, and do bring something to the table (a melding of the best features of both EV and ICE tech) but they also have their drawbacks as well and like EVs, they don’t seem to be making much traction in the market without government help.

            clean energy is the future

            Only when it can stand on it’s own two feet without government support and provide the energy needs of the populace when the populace needs/wants it (which leaves out unreliable sources like wind and solar). So far the only technologies that have managed that are fossil fuel based, Hydro (which is limited by geography), and to some extent Nuclear.

          • , and even energy companies such as Shell are realizing that climate change is a real concern

            don’t mistake “sucking at the government teat” for “real concern”. the companies are looking at how they can profit off of government’s largess. There’s a reason why when the subsidies end, so too ends that which was being subsidized. There’s no profit in unprofitable technologies when the only profit source (government subsidies) goes away.

          • Unknown March 8, 2019 at 9:18 am

            Oh, Unknown I so, so agree with you, boy oh boy sure who doesn’t remember that epic first trip across the Atlantic solely by wind power? Who can forget, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
            Yes you are such a forward looking individual.

          • Unknown: “Whatever. The world is shifting to new ways of energy…” Yea like the Australians selling coal to communist China for their coal plants to generate energy to manufacture the windmills and solar panels to sell back to the Australians. Pure genius. If you’re a crook. Making money honestly is much more difficult.

        • Wind as power source has been around since the 9th Century. Solar as power source since the 1860s. Why is it you think they are only “just now being implemented” after all these centuries? Could it possibly be the fact that they are inferior and unreliable sources of energy? If they were “all that” we wouldn’t need government subsidies to “just now begin implementing” them into major cities and infrastructures, as they’d already be in place.

          • Yes, but as the wind power under discussion is that derived from those giant bird choppers that have been sprouting up lately, the appropriate comparison is with the history of that particular technology, which dates back to the 9th century.

    • It’s so funny that they want to stay in this oil age, not progress forward into time

      Eh? Wind mills are old technology that’s been around for centuries (as far back as the 9th century, over a millenia ago). That’s not “progress(ing) forward into time”, that’s regressing backwards. There’s a reason we stopped using wind power when fossil fuels came along – it’s not a very energy dense source. It’s takes a lot of wind mills (and thus a lot of land) to produce the same amount of energy as can be produced by 1 small coal power plant.

      Even solar has been around for a while (starting in 1860s. and even back then it was driven by an expectation that coal would soon become scarce – sound familiar) so again not progress forward but regressing backwards. And again, there’s a reason solar never went very far – it too is not a very energy dense source. It takes a lot of solar cells (which means a lot of solar farms which means a lot of land) to produce the same amount of energy as can be produced by 1 small coal power plant.

      But beyond the lack of energy density that’s another reason wind was abandoned and solar never took off – they’re not reliable. The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. You can plaster the country side with bird choppers and solar cells and if the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining you aren’t getting any power. period.

      • Unknown has to consider the toxic waste and volume waste disposal problem of obsolete solar arrays and wind mills at the end of their useful lives. Are they recyclable? At least Oil drilling platforms can be converted into man made reefs that attract enormous numbers of diverse ocean life forms forming ecological systems that attach to their steel frames.

    • Trouble is that Wind has a nasty habit of running out on a daily basis. It is not a matter of when as with coal and gas, it is now; so what are you going to do about it Unknown?
      If you suggest batteries I’ll scream 🤯

    • Renewables aren’t weak.

      A power source that you can’t control the timing of, *is* weak. When people are demanding energy, it does them no good if the source of that energy refuses to produce (wind not blowing, sun not shining).

    • Little fry, you have waded into a site populated by scientists and mathematicians, many with advanced degrees, engineers, technologists, and those with expertise developed through decades of real-life experience in relevant fields.

      Lurk and learn. There is much you do not know, and much you know that is simply not so.

    • Unknown,

      You speak of progressing forward. I presume you mean technological and social progress? Did you know that each step forward throughout history had a coequal step forward in energy stability? Meaning, each successive step in progress necessitates advancing from current energy abundance to a superior energy abundance. Coal does not care if it’s day or night; oil does not burn weaker if the wind is not blowing; uranium isn’t fazed when the river level drops. These are naturally occurring energy sources against which wind and solar cannot compare.

      I agree that eventually we will run out of these natural resources, but I think you dismiss the ingenuity of humanity: we will find a superior energy source by then. I suspect, in the next two centuries, miniaturized fusion along with nuclear and hydro will produce such a huge abundance of reliable energy that we will look back on coal and oil like we now lock back on horse drawn wagons: primitive.

      Do not place all your eggs in the wind and solar baskets. They will be helpful but not satisfactory to the extreme requirements of human advancement.

  14. Similar budget proposals in the past from Obama included 70 percent increases for Dept. of State for Hillary. Those were nuts like a lot of proposals from Obama.

  15. Intermittent subsidies from the Feds are already being replaced by subsidies from ratepayers as states, cities, and towns set mix limits on electricity sources. Carr is simply saying saying, “Look over here and get outraged” while ratepayers are already footing the bill.

    • Yes, you are completely correct. Even in Texas the state mandates a certain mix for renewable electricity. The electricity produced by these renewables is much more expensive. That being the case, ratepayers are upcharged on their base rate to cover the difference. It is an invisible “green” tax on electricity.

      I know a guy whose company is deeply involved with renewables. He told me that all the subsidies were disappearing and that solar was cheaper than natural gas. I brought up mandated purchases/mix limits and he was baffled. Despite his deep financial interest in renewables, he had no idea that states mandated green purchases from utility companies.

      Remove all city and state mandated purchases/mix limits for renewables and the entire “renewable” industry crumbles in less than a year.

  16. DOnald Trump is finally doing something correct. The solar and wind people have been saying the cost of sequestering the flue gas for coal is $80/MWh and $40/MWh for natural gas. I will not say that they are not telling the truth, But I just absolutely cannot understand how the cost of drilling a well, putting in a pressurized combustor made out of the cheapest material that will hold the pressure, plus a flue gas cooler made out of the cheapest material that will hold the pressure plus a pressure control valve and a lock hopper to get the cola up to pressure, and buying liquid oxygen for combustion could possibly cost $80/MWh or even $40/MWh. I would estimate it at $5-$10/MWh.

  17. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Contradictory terms for something being delivered from one office. Can’t be any realists working in it.

  18. Subsidies are being phased out here in the US. The PTC is down by 60% from its initial funding level for anything built this year, and the ITC expires the year the next Congress convenes. The other renewable subsidy that needs to be crushed is ethanol (which is a bigger subsidy than goes to either wind or solar). I hate to break it to you though, wind is still going into ERCOT this year even with the PTC down to less than $0.01/kWh. That means that all developers have to do to keep putting in wind next year is to cut the LCOE by $0.01/kWh. Either that or the price of Nat Gas has to go up by $0.20/therm. Since the beginning of this year the cost of Natural Gas has moved by double that amount. The PTC for wind is kind of a non-issue, the assumptions on gas massively outweighs PTC.
    To be honest though, I am not sure about the accelerated depreciation schedule though. Does it expire with the PTC?

    • “The other renewable subsidy that needs to be crushed is ethanol (which is a bigger subsidy than goes to either wind or solar).”

      I agree with you, we shouldn’t be paying subsidies to make ethanol.

      But Trump has shown a reluctance to touch that one, so far. I don’t recall him ever saying a bad word about ethanol subidies. And I doubt he will rock the political boat over it with the 2020 elections just around the corner. After the 2020 election, if Trump wins, it might be a different story.

      • Indeed. There are a lot of red states that suck at that particular government teat, so messing with that particular subsidy would not be good for his chances of re-election. After 2020, as you say, would be a different story, though I don’t know if that’s even on Trump’s radar as he’s got a lot of other irons in the fire as it is.

      • Once again, it’s not the subsidy it’s the mandate. Most of the ethanol subsidies have ended, however the government still requires a minimum percentage of ethanol in each gallon of gas sold.

        • The mandates, targets, whatever you want to call it, are secret subsidies that are paid for by consumers in higher electricity prices.

  19. Take most of that money saved and subsidize the future energy power : molten salt small modular nuclear reactors.
    A real no-brainer.

    • Kent, Trump should take Tom in Florida’s idea above. When the dems insist on the bigger budget than Trump asked for he should restructure the office and rename it Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Nuclear Energy then he can that that extra money congress gave the department and use some of it to fund research into molten salt small modular nuclear reactors so we can find out once and for all if they are feasible and live up to the hype or if they are nothing by vaporware.

    • Good You Tube videos and book on the subject: Superfuel by Richard Martin re: LiThorium Molten Salt Fission Reactors. Designs are Safer in every way compared to water cooled reactors. Sad history of why they were not favored by US Govt.

  20. Its Clean. Its Green. Its Infinitely Renewable!

    Then they told us it was infinitely renewable, they were not talking about the energy, they were talking about the subsidies.
    Good luck, you will need it.

  21. To all the nuclear people here –
    Get a grip. The wholesale price of electricity in the US is below $0.05/kWh.
    I don’t care if your fuel is free. There is no way you are building and maintaining a nuclear facility at that price. The cost of compliance for anything radioactive is ridiculous. Yes you can “but for this type of reactor blah blah blah.” Ask yourself the following question: “Do I honestly believe that in the future government agencies are going to substantially reduce the cost for a new nuclear technology?”
    The investment cost for new nuclear technologies will never be paid off (unless the cost of electricity more than doubles). We built a nuclear industry in the US for one and only one purpose – to win a nuclear arms race. Unless and until that victory is brought into question we will not be building any more nuclear of any type.

    • Chad, the economis can improve tremendously if the ridiculous, deliberately punitive regulations are removed from nuclear. Not even 70 people have died from nuclear reactor accidents, research or power ones since 1950. More have died from renewable installations and repairs.

      • “… if the ridiculous, deliberately punitive regulations are removed…”
        I am not going to disagree with the counterfactual here, however I will disagree that the counterfactual will ever be actualized. Even if the fuel was free and the capital cost approached 0 I suspect that new nuclear would still be uneconomic. I believe this because the capital for existing nuclear has long since been paid, the fuel is extremely cheap per btu and still nuclear plants are shutting down. In all of Rick Perry’s comments has he ever discussed the ways in which he is reducing regulatory burden on the nuclear industry? If Rick Perry isn’t doing that then in all honesty who would?

    • Cheap USA electricity and heating is because you use shale gas. It’s looking like the UK has proportionally about as much shale gas per land area as the USA, and we could do the same. If only the Greens would let us.

      That said, France has done quite well with nuclear electricity, which has worked out to be much cheaper than Germany’s renewables and coal mix. The crazy thing is that the EU is now forcing the French to build windfarms they neither want nor need. No doubt the nuclear energy won’t be so cheap once subsidizing these white elephants is factored in.

      We aren’t the only ones to be fed up wit the EU and its nonsense. The French have some choice words for that institution which you probably won’t find on Google Translate.

      • “Cheap USA electricity and heating is because you use shale gas.” Dang straight! Frack the snot out of those rocks. They are miles below ground and not doing anything useful, so suck every last therm you can out of them. Yes, maybe someday we will run out of natural gas, but that is future America’s problem. There was a time when we were concerned we would run out of wood in the north east. There was a time when we were concerned we wouldn’t be able to gather enough ice in winter to allow chilling processes during summer (back when ice was harvested). There was a time when whale blubber was running out. For now serve the needs at hand with the resources at hand and learn how to do better. Who knows, maybe in 50 years we will all have a Mr. Fusion on our Delorean, but that is in all seriousness future America’s problem.
        As a side note – we really don’t frack for gas. We frack for oil. We have so much gas that we use it as a byproduct! We know where the gas is, but it isn’t worth digging for right now. We have a lot of gas. It will be a very long time before we run out.

      • Cheap USA electricity and heating is because you use shale gas

        Yes, isn’t it great.

        The crazy thing is that the EU is now forcing the French to build windfarms they neither want nor need

        Macron is a more than willing participant. Like Canada’s PM, he’s bought into the whole CAGW nonsense and would still be pushing those policies regardless of what the EU has to say on the matter. If it wasn’t for the yellow vests, Macron would be even further along with his CAGW policies.

      • Ian Macdonald: “The crazy thing is that the EU is now forcing the French to build windfarms they neither want nor need…” This pushes up electricity prices and make the EU less competitive CW communist China. In the UK we’re running Drax on woodchips with the same result. Meanwhile communist China burns coal as if there’s no tomorrow, presumably because it doesn’t matter cos we’ll all be dead in 12 years anyway due to global warming.

    • Here the future many, many, years down the road: Household Nuclear Power Plants. Small “Nuclear Power Plants” have been in service powering submarines for how long?

  22. “The Democrats belief system: If it moves, tax it. If it continues to move, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Reagan

  23. Wind and solar are made to appear cheaper because of the subsidies. Take away the subsidies and that’s the end of wind and solar.

    • Take away mandatory electricity purchases/mix levels at the state and local level and the whole green industry crumbles within a year.

  24. If something is not done soon, a much larger chunk of the auto sector will be based on subsidies to go along with ethanol fuels, rooftop solar, wind power generation, university attendance (whether they are qualified or not), low income energy bills and cell phones, working poor subsidy through the tax code, and home battery systems.

    Throwing the EV auto sector on the list in a big way will be a big part of the next Great Recession in place of the home ownership-for-all fallacy last time and they can start all over again with shovel ready stimulus (debt).

  25. $700M isn’t a shutdown budget, $200 to scrape the name off the door is a shutdown budget.

  26. The subsidies support a lot of economic activity in Trump’s base.
    ***********

    Subsidies support activities that would otherwise be uneconomical.

  27. “It’s a shutdown budget” Because- Hey! You can’t get a cup of coffee for a lousy $700 million.
    Only in politician land!

  28. “I want clean air. I want crystal clean water. …

    Never before has a president been more concise. Slashing a budget opens up chances to concentrate on the essentials.

  29. On pricing. Had a look at the Australian Energy Market Operator “Data Dashboard” a couple of hours ago. (201903090520 AEST) Total demand for the five states: 19,163 MW. Wind and others – contributing just 344 MW. Wholesale prices from A$68.73 in Queensland to A$98.37 per MWh in South Australia. Seems that when the ‘renewables’ aren’t in use, the price is reasonable and stable. Subsidies? They just warp the ‘playing field’

    https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview

  30. Life-cycle cost of renewables exceeds the value of the energy they produce during their life. Cost is a proxy for energy (the earth does not charge). The energy consumed during their life-cycle exceeds the energy they produce during their life. Without energy from other sources, renewables cannot exist.

  31. I agree with most of the comments about the article, especially when they say that renewable are cheaper than coal, so no more need for any subsidies .

    But back here in Australia, and with a Federal election due in a few weeks, its a bit like John Cleanse in the TV Faulty Towers show, “Don’t mention the War”.

    The politicians will soft pedal any mention of Climate Change, except of course the Greens, who are in full cry on the matter.

    While the Labour next Prime Minister may turn out to be another Hawke Keating regarding how the Real World actually works, otherwise if he gives into the pressure from his own Left Wing, then we will just have to wait until the lights and Industry cease working.

    MJE

Comments are closed.