Listen to the Session:
There are many definitions of subsidies. One explanation would be that they are measures that reduce costs for consumers and producers.
Panelists at a Society of Environmental Journalists conference session discussed the different types of energy subsidies, how the government intervenes in the energy market and the effects they have on U.S energy policy.
John Pendergrass, a senior attorney at the Environmental Law Institute, explained how consumer and energy producers benefit farmers and workers and for crops used in a substantial amount.
Oil companies earn what seems to be large profit, he said, but only because they sell a lot, according to Katherine Sgamma, director of Government and Public Affairs at the Western Energy Alliance.
She also explained that fossil fuels provided more energy than renewable resources. An increase on taxes would put that production at risk, she said.
Wind, according to Peter Kelley, vice president of Public Affairs at the American Wind Energy Association, is now more affordable than ever. He also explained that the American Wind Energy Association wanted to make sure that they provide people with “clean energy that will never run out.”
The question still stands.
Which fuels should receive the most support from the government and could these energies compete on a leveled playing field? It has been suggested that a subsidy shift would help to level the playing field and support growing energy sectors, mainly solar power, wind power and biofuels resources.
Such shifts would help subsidies learn toward clean energy and help them become more reliable and consistent.