Electric cars: Another failed Obama campaign promise

President Obama promised a million electric cars by the end of 2015, but got less than half that number, and many of those are being leased. Studies show that EVs, because they run on whatever is generating the local electricity, are often in effect more polluting than gasoline vehicles -- and a lot more expensive and less convenient. Without massive subsidies and arm twisting, there would likely be very little market at all for these overpriced, underperforming vehicles.

By |2016-02-02T14:57:47+00:00February 2nd, 2016|CFACT Insights|6 Comments

SolarCity and the Silver Spoon

Companies like Solar City need politicians to keep them afloat. The best solution would be to rid ourselves of politicians who play favorites with other people's money (like Andrew Cuomo), but barring that, we should cancel all subsidies that enable rich people to profit from policies that make energy more expensive for the poor -- via political means.

By |2016-01-04T15:41:53+00:00January 4th, 2016|CFACT Insights|11 Comments

Solar tax credits are not “conservative” or “free market”

With Louisiana looking to trim a budget deficit (partly caused by Obama energy policies), the state legislature is considering a dramatic cutback in subsidies for rooftop solar installations -- subsidies that in one documented case amounted to $33,000 of the cost of a $40,000 system. The customer was quite happy, noting that after a 5-year amortization for his $7,000 investment, his energy is now free. But who is amortizing the $33,000 that taxpayers paid for? If it took 5 years to amortize $7,000, then it must take nearly 30 years to amortize the true cost of the solar installation -- longer than the lifespan of the solar units.

By |2015-04-21T12:04:12+00:00April 21st, 2015|CFACT Insights|5 Comments

Solar panel companies deceive homeowners

Fueled by subsidies and mandates, the new rooftop solar-leasing market industry has engaged in “deceptive marketing strategies” to sucker unsuspecting homeowners into misleading zero-money-down teaser loan deals. Many customers are unaware they must include these units in their homeowners insurance policies, the units may stop working long before the 20- to 30-year lease expires (and they are liable for maintenance and replacement of defective parts), and the solar companies may place a lien on the entire property, not just the solar equipment, making it more difficult to transfer ownership via sale. There are numerous other pitfalls, including a serious fire hazard from defective units.

By |2015-03-31T12:15:52+00:00March 31st, 2015|Uncategorized|254 Comments

The 2014 state of wind energy

Ever since the wind power Production Tax Credit expired last year, the lobbying to restore the costly, wasteful tax credit has been intense. Recently, 26 Senators and 118 House members signed a letter urgning its restoration -- but whether they will succeed is an entirely different matter. As a result, even GE's Jeffrey Immelt is talking about "a world that's unsubsidized."

By |2014-04-21T20:33:36+00:00April 21st, 2014|Media, Op-Ed Articles|2 Comments

Loss of production tax credits brings big wind chill to the cooling subsidy-dependent market

The recently ended wind power production tax credit was costing the U.S. taxpayer at least $12 billion a year -- and if the claimed number of jobs was indeed created by these subsidies, they were underwritten at about $32,000 per job. By contrast, so-called subsidies (which are actually tax preferences) for fossil fuel production cost about $2,100 per job. Meanwhile, wind power is now an average $54 per megawatt-hour -- up from $37 in 2005, and much higher than fossil fuel power. There is good news: We are nowhere near as bad off as many European countries that have subsidized wind power production.

By |2014-02-13T23:44:30+00:00February 12th, 2014|CFACT Insights|4 Comments

New NAS study lambasts Obama “climate” subsidies

As part of his sweeping new climate action plan to address alleged global warming, President Obama intends to establish tens of billions in new subsidies for so-called renewables like solar and wind power. But according to FoxNews.com, a groundbreaking study recently completed by the National Research Council shows they will be virtually useless at reducing greenhouse gases.

By |2013-09-26T17:40:12+00:00September 23rd, 2013|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on New NAS study lambasts Obama “climate” subsidies

Rooftop solar: welfare for the wealthy?

Net metering has been around since the early 1980s when solar panels were expensive and few people had them. But the dynamics changed drastically when states began passing renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that required predetermined percentages of electricity be generated from renewable sources—some even specified which sources are part the mix and how much of the resource was required. For example, in my home state of New Mexico, the Diversification Rule requires that 1.5% of the RPS must be met by “distributed generation” (read: rooftop solar). Arizona requires 30% of the RPS be derived from “distributed energy technologies” (once again, rooftop solar).

By |2013-09-09T11:47:40+00:00September 9th, 2013|Media, Op-Ed Articles|3 Comments

Subsidies to wind and solar dwarf those to “big oil” — but wait! There’s more!

Oil depletion allowances, the first category, principally apply to small independent producers, with similar benefits available for all mineral extraction, timber industries, etc., allowing them to pass the depletion on to individual investors. Large integrated corporations haven’t been eligible for these since the mid-1970s. Expensing indirect drilling costs involves writing off expenses in the year incurred rather than capitalizing them and writing them off over several years. Closing this “loophole” would only change the timing of taking he expense, not the total amounts of the so-called “subsidy.” The third category, a tax credit for taxes paid to foreign nations, is available for all international companies. This provides an offset to foreign taxes, often paid as royalties, so that the companies aren’t taxed twice on the same income.

By |2013-07-08T18:39:50+00:00July 8th, 2013|CFACT Insights|6 Comments
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