Conservative Energy Priorities

SolyndraBrad Plumer over at WonkBlog is writing about activists calling for an end to the $775 billion per year spent to subsidize the oil, gas, and coal industries. In the United States alone, it is over $11 billion per year. It really is shocking, because these industries are hugely profitable.

Contrast this with the conservative freak out over a half billion dollars lost on the investment in Solyndra. Leaving aside the fact that the government is supposed to invest in risky industries that aren’t well supported by the private sector, the amount of money is tiny compared to what we give to rich fossil-fuel companies. Subsidies for nuclear power are similarly huge.

As Corey Robin has written about, conservatives are really only interested in maintaining power structures. So it isn’t that they are against subsidies; they are against subsidies to companies that might upset the interests of those currently in power. Once solar is a hugely profitable, hegemonic industry, conservatives won’t mind showering them with many billions of dollars every year.