Yes, you read that correctly. Greenpeace does agree with Rand Paul, the new Senator from Kentucky—on the issue of energy subsidies. Giving subsidies to the energy sector, according to Senator Paul, “take away the incentives for business to innovate and instead give them an incentive to lobby Washington. Subsidies guarantee that business with the most political clout and not the best product will succeed.”
But, while Senator Paul focuses his attention incorrectly on subsidies for solar and wind power—I’d like to draw his attention to the real problem with subsidies—Big Oil!
Senator Paul is ignoring the fact that we're wasting billions subsidizing dirty fossil fuels, which are poisoning our communities and killing our planet. He says that renewable energy must not benefit from subsidies, but Greenpeace advocates for the opposite. In fact, shifting the energy market is exactly what we need to protect the planet and jumpstart the economy. Subsidies are the best way to ramp up renewable energy production like wind and solar, getting green energy to more and more of the public. Big oil and coal have had a century to establish themselves--they don't need or deserve public money.
What business do you think has the most political clout and influence?
Oil or solar? If you guessed oil, you win!
If Senator Paul is serious about ending unnecessary subsidies, I think he should start with the lobbyists like the Koch brothers who have the most political clout and the worst product.
There are two big problems to subsidizing dirty energy:
-- it's big corporations getting taxpayers to fund their own destruction, and
-- it gives fossils fuels—which should be able to stand up on their own—an unfair advantage over renewables.
David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries has quietly funneled nearly $50 million to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming. It’s in their best interest (more profits) to keep perpetuating our consumption of oil and with extremely deep pockets, they’ve proven just how influential Big Oil lobbyists can be.
With Big Oil lobbyists spinning the truth, it’s no wonder that five of the six new GOP senators and 35 of the 85 incoming Republican freshmen in the House have questioned whether greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity contribute to climate change (according to Daily Kos blogger R.L. Miller and ThinkProgress).
It’s time to start an Energy Revolution and stop buying the lies that Big Oil lobbyists are trying to sell us. Our future is too important to destroy.