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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Subsidies - The Invisible Ones are Worse Than the Obvious Ones!  (Read 8582 times)

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Fighting the good fight
« on: October 20, 2013, 03:06:22 pm »
From a thread I participated in  ;D to keep the fossil fuelers from spreading 'inaccuracies'.  ;)

Stan Curlee   

No A.G., I deplore inflated dividends also. And did I post yet on being dead set against nuclear? I am. Here’s the bottom line with me and I have stated it here more than once. My concern is a dependable grid that will not harm the percent delivery on demand and quality of power we get or cause financial pain beyond what we can afford—vastly higher rates, vastly higher taxes or government default.

If renewables can do it, fine. But they cannot, I submit, past about 15% penetration. And everyone is going to have to find that out the hard way. I’m not sure I’m “mobilizing” against anything, but this is a hoppy and passion, just because I’m a techy type on this stuff and love it. . . . Unless you consider me an army of “one.” A.G., I ask you to dig deep and really consider how many technical points/challenges I am actually misrepresenting. (?) Really? And RE phase 3, I don’t think I’m disguising anything. I think Scheer left out the “honest engineering challenge” phase. He assumes there are ZERO honest challenges to this?? Not one? There’s nothing special about me, but this is my discipline. I run numbers similar to these and risk assess complex systems all the time for viability when I have to solve engineering problems. Thomas made a very telling remark in his great article. Remember? There are simply so many non-technically trained people in places of power and influence who simply will not listen to or take advice from those of us who are technically trained. Their minds are made up.

A. G. Gelbert 

Here's the main problem I have with your defense of the fossil fuel energy status quo as if it was something reasonably priced, economical, viable and sane as opposed to your continuous insistence on claiming that renewable energy is too costly and/or unreliable:

Fossil fuel energy was never, and I mean never, cost effective.
In a sane society that doesn't pretend you can add and subtract whatever factors you wish in order to come up with a profit that will attract investment capital, you figure in all the costs to human society.

From the moment John D. Rockefeller started flushing gasoline down the rivers in Pennsylvania in the late 19th century (it was a waste product then) after refining crude oil for lubricants and lamp oil, huge costs were being foisted on society.

Coal is even worse. You pretend all that is water under the bridge. You pretend all the benefits of modern society are an acceptable tradeoff.

Well, they aren't. The only premise that is logical and sane now, with the continued damage that adds insult to injury to the biosphere we all depend on, is to admit that fossil fuels were never a viable, cost effective, sustainable source of energy for mankind and press on to renewable energy simply because there is no other alternative.

Argue this isn't real and those who defend fossil fuel energy are not in la la land in regard to the actual cost of these poisons if you dare.

The subsidies the fossil-fuel (and nuclear) industry receive — and have received for many years — make their product “affordable.” Those subsidies take many forms, but the most significant are their “externalities.” Externalities are real costs, but they are foisted off on the community instead of being paid by the companies that caused them.[18]

Paul Epstein, director of Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment, has examined the health and environmental impacts of coal, including: mining, transportation, combustion in power plants and the impact of coal’s waste stream. He found that the "life cycle effects of coal and its waste cost the American public $333 billion to over $500 billion dollars annually". These are costs the coal industry is not paying and which fall to the community in general. Eliminating that subsidy would dramatically increase the price of coal-fired electricity.[18]

IEA position on subsidies

According to IEA (2011) energy subsidies artificially lower the price of energy paid by consumers, raise the price received by producers or lower the cost of production. ,"Fossil fuels subsidies costs generally outweigh the benefits.

 Subsidies to renewables and low-carbon energy technologies can bring long-term economic and environmental benefits".[19] In November 2011, an IEA report entitled Deploying Renewables 2011 said "subsidies in green energy technologies that were not yet competitive are justified in order to give an incentive to investing into technologies with clear environmental and energy security benefits".

The IEA's report disagreed with claims that renewable energy technologies are only viable through costly subsidies and not able to produce energy reliably to meet demand. "A portfolio of renewable energy technologies is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support," the IEA said, and added that "cost reductions in critical technologies, such as wind and solar, are set to continue."[20]

Fossil-fuel consumption subsidies were $409 billion in 2010, oil products claim half of it. Renewable-energy subsidies were $66 billion in 2010 and will reach according to IEA $250 billion by 2035. Renewable energy is subsidized in order to compete in the market, increase their volume and develop the technology so that the subsidies become unnecessary with the development.

Eliminating fossil-fuel subsidies could bring economic and environmental benefits. Phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies by 2020 would cut primary energy demand 5%. Since the start of 2010, at least 15 countries have taken steps to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies.


I say they should take the subsidy money presently assigned to fossil fuels and transfer all of it to renewable energy subsidies.

Fossil fuel was never a viable energy option for mankind. We cannot afford to burn fossil fuels, period.

Somehow, I don't think, you, Stan, would agree to the shutting off of all fossil fuel subsides and giving that money to renewable energy for at least as long as fossil fuels had it (about 100 years!) .

The rest of that thread and the article it was based on here
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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