Let’s cut to the chase: “green” energy projects funded by the government with taxpayer dollars are doomed to fail and must end.
We are reminded of this with the 4-year anniversary of the solar company Solyndra filing for bankruptcy on September 1, 2011 after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
As a more recent example, the Associated Press released unnerving information about California’s 2012 Clean Energy Jobs Act. This Act, otherwise known as Proposition 39, was sold to voters as a tax loophole closure for multistate corporations whereby about half of the estimated $1 billion in new taxes would fund “green” energy projects at local education agencies and create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs annually.
Based on this rhetoric and a large $30 million donation by an environmentalist, 61.1 percent of voters approved the measure in November 2012.
In the three years since Proposition 39 went into effect, the removal of corporate tax loopholes contributed only $973 million, or 59 percent, of the expected $1,650 million in revenue. Of this amount, $297 million has been spent on clean energy projects and more than half going to energy auditors and consultants. Job creation projections of more than 11,000 per year has also been ridiculously overshot with only 1,700 jobs created, or 5 percent of the estimated 33,000 during the last three years. These 1,700 jobs have come at a cost of $175,000 each.
This is yet another example of the failure of government-financed green energy projects that cost taxpayers by redistributing their resources to less abundant, more expensive, and less efficient sources of energy.
Letting markets work in the energy sector so that prices aren’t masked from sending appropriate signals to producers and consumers instead of government-blocking prices with corporate welfare is the best path forward for taxpayers.
Crony capitalism whereby governments pick winners and losers must end. Free markets whereby individuals decide the outcome must be the solution. The future of our well-being that’s based on affordable, abundant energy depends on it.