Monday, December 16, 2013

Sherrod Brown + clean energy manufacturing = wasted money

Sherrod Brown is once again touting Ohio's green energy economy:

"Ohio's clean energy economy is also adding jobs at a much faster rate than the state's overall economy: the Ohio’s clean energy economy increased by 8.5 percent from 2007 to 2010, while Ohio's economy as a whole lost nearly 350,000 jobs over the same period, a decrease of roughly 6.1 percent."

 I am not sure why he uses jobs numbers from 2007 - 2010 when we are about to enter 2014. My guess is that the numbers are not nearly as rosy for the clean energy economy from 2010 - 2013 relative to the economy as a whole.

Brown again criticizes China's "unfair" trade practices, lamenting their use of subsidies to prop up certain industries, including green energy. So what is his solution? Offer the same subsidies to U.S. manufacturing:

"A recent report revealed that we can create jobs and revitalize our manufacturing base by investing in the clean energy economy and strengthening valuable energy programs, such as renewable energy standards and federal tax credits for wind and solar power."

 Either he doesn't care or doesn't understand that U.S. subsidies for wind and solar power distort the energy market just as much as China's subsidies do. Misguided subsidies for green energy just distort the price signals that investors rely on to make their investment decisions.

New sources of energy are great as long as their producers are forced to compete based on the true costs of producing that energy. Natural gas is thriving right now and it has a lower carbon impact than oil. It is also cost effective. The same is true for nuclear power. We should not have policies in place that artificially increase investment in wind and solar at the expense of nuclear power, natural gas, and other energy sources that make economic sense.

Sherrod Brown prefers to waste more taxpayer dollars and resources on green energy than to actually help America find new energy sources.

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