Judgment day for the PTC, or Production Tax Credit is upon us. As our politicians weigh the pros and cons for an extension, it is necessary to be candid in our discussions.
Over the past decade, energy subsidies have more than doubled, consuming more than $150 billion of direct taxpayer funds to merely function.
The qualification, however, should not be to ‘function.’ For a business to remain viable, it must be self-sustaining. These are the basics of economics. To date, renewables receiving this the PTC subsidy only account for only five percent of our installed electric power generation capacity. Other energy sources, such as natural gas, have emerged as both economically viable, but also environmentally benign. In order to be good stewards, we must consider both factors equally.
Without question, renewables have an important role to play in America’s energy future as apart of an all-of-the-above plan. But we cannot rely solely on renewables for an adequate energy plan. Like it or not, fossil fuels will remain our primary energy resource for the next 50 years. By spending 80% of our time discussing an energy source, which only provides 10% of our energy, we are missing the point of the energy renaissance.
We must ignore the sensationalism of the media in order to clearly understand the pros and cons of the PTC. When government acts to internalize environmental impacts through regulation, it destroys the competitive advantage of our free marketplace. The free-market society we live in will ultimately make this decision for us all. Renewable fuels have had more than enough time to prove their worth. It’s time for them to stand on their own two feet or ultimately fail.
Let the best ‘man’ win.