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Tuesday, March 29, 2022
MAN BITES DOG: DEMOCRATS PROPOSE MASSIVE FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDY!
If you’re a glutton for misery, no doubt you’ve heard more than a few times from the climatistas about how we need to “end fossil fuel subsidies.” Supposed subsidies for oil, natural gas, and coal are actually minuscule when calculated on a per-unit-of-energy delivered to the consumer, and has little effect on consumer prices, unlike subsidies for wind and solar power, which are yuuuge on a per-unit-of-energy delivered, and they have large market price-distorting effects for electricity. If we simply “levelized” energy subsidies on a per-unit-of-energy delivered basis, wind and solar development would halt overnight, and oil, gas, and coal production would not change a bit in output or price.
So what’s the latest idea from the Democrats? Only the largest subsidy ever for oil, in the form of $100 per person monthly payments to assist Americans to buy gasoline. Up to $400 a month for a household of four. (Democrats are calling it a “rebate,” but in fact they aren’t rebating anything, since “rebate” would involves consumers paying the government in the first place.)
I’m guessing Democratic Party polling must find that high gasoline prices are killing them with voters, and that voters grasp which party consistently opposes domestic production of the energy supplies we actually use.
The Wall Street Journal expresses the appropriate snark: “The rebate idea deserves to die in the crib, but the spectacle of climate-change warriors suddenly trying to subsidize fossil-fuel consumption is almost worth it.”