The Uneven Energy Playing Field and the Spindoctors who Ignore it

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There has been a recent surge in articles from fossil-fuel friendly sources pointing to the inequity of tax credits and government subsidies being directed to the renewable energy sector. 

The latest is by Alan Caruba writing on the industry-backed CFACT website bemoaning a $7 million investment in a wind project in New Jersey. 

What Caruba and others fail to mention in their argument is that the fossil fuel industry – the main competitor to the renewable energy sector – receives more than ten times as much in government subsidies globally.

A recent report by Bloomberg New Finance finds that worldwide, the fossil fuel industry – which is made up mainly of oil, gas and coal companies – receives $557 billion a year in government subsidies while the renewable energy sector receives less than one-tenth of the support at around $45 billion.

In the United States, government spends two-times more money on subsidies to the fossil fuel sector, with $72.5 billion going to dirty fuels and $29 billion to clean technology. And half of that $29 billion goes into subsidies for corn-based ethanol and not wind, solar and geothermal technology.

Not mentioning the ridiculousness of subsidizing companies like ExxonMobil, one of the most profitable companies in the history of the world, this uneven playing ground in the energy sector between fossil fuels and clean energy is what allows people like Caruba to make his false arguments.

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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