mason coal burner wrote:show me where green energy is cheaper and creates more jobs than it kills. If green energy was profitable everyone would be doing it and they wouldn't need government (tax payer) subsidies.
Green energy is not entirely about cheaper and more jobs. When I was a boy, paper companies in Maine dumped so many chemicals into our local river, that you almost could not walk across the bridge for the stench and fumes. THAT was about cheaper and more profits, though not necessarily more jobs. It was government regulation (OH, HORROR!) that put an end to the pollution.
New sources of energy seem to be cheaper than peak oil prices, but more expensive than depressed oil prices. An argument for subsidies is, whenever there is a promising new energy source being developed, the big oil companies can essentially kill it by lowering oil prices long enough to bankrupt the developers. Even if they don't do it on purpose, natural fluctuations in the world oil price accomplish the same thing. Then when oil demand increases and price skyrockets again, the needed alternatives are not available. Done properly, subsidies should be able to even out the energy supplies and price fluctuations over the long term. Think of it this way: you will pay, either way, but stability is less painful than instability.
The key to make subsidized development work, of course, is "done properly". Government and politics don't often do things efficiently. But we DO need alternative energy if only for stability, and what is the alternative to doing it via government?