Mitt Romney on energy and energy subsidies

In advance of Tuesday's election, I thought it would be useful to have a quick look at Mitt Romney's vision for the country's energy future.  This blog post provides links to other assessments of his broader energy plan that I think do a nice job framing some important issues, and then discusses Romney's statements about subsidies to clean energy.  Part 2, which  won't be ready for a couple more days, will look some critical deficits in Romney's statements about subsidies to oil and gas, and provide guidance on important subsidies he is overlooking and why these matter.

Les aides publiques dommageables à la biodiversité (Public Subsidies Harmful to Biodiversity)

The report provides an extremely detailed review of policies within France that have the effect of harming biodiversity, though does not rank these subsidies in terms of which are most damaging.  The report looks at a vast array of policies that encourage urban sprawl, over-exploitation of resources, and the introduction of exotic species, in the process triggering habitat loss.  The analysis also looks at subsidies to pollution.  Although the authors were able to quantify many specific subsidy items, they were not able to present an aggregate tally due to the complexity of some of the prog

This can't be good for subsidy reform

The US Supreme Court has just greatly loosened the restrictions on spending corporate cash on political candidates and elections. The onslaught of cash that will follow will, I suspect, suprise even the supporters of this change.  More importantly, the web of obligations that this cash creates among the elected officials will greatly worsen an already out-of-control problem of subsidies to favored constituencies.

Splash and Dash: The perils of subsidy

"Absolutely not," says Doug Koplow of the Cambridge, Mass.-based group Earth Track. He pointed to the fact that biofuel plantations often require the destruction of rainforests, causing greater net carbon emissions and destroying animal habitats. “You can say we’re growing crops for biofuels from pre-existing farmland, but then the offsetting food production begins to cut into natural habitat," he added.

Subsidies to Ethanol in the United States

This chapter reviews the major policy developments affecting the fuel-ethanol industry of the United States since the late 1970s, quantifies their value to the industry, and evaluates the efficacy of ethanol subsidization in achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals.  Total support to ethanol is currently substantial ($5.8-7.0 billion in 2006) and set to rise sharply even under existing policy settings.  However, its cost effectiveness is low, especially as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Subsidies to Nuclear and Biofuels Among the Most Costly Carbon Abatement Strategies.

Provides subsidy cost per mt CO2eq abated via goverment supports to biofuels (including cellulosic) and nuclear energy.  Integrating data from McKinsey & Co. on abatement options, demonstrates subsidies comprise the least efficient options for addressing climate change. Prepared for Greenpeace Solutions.  (June 2008).

Subscribe to subsidies