I probably disagree with the conservative commentators from the American Enterprise Institute 80 percent of the time, but Kenneth Green is right on track with his latest think piece. He's for dumping all energy subsidies and taxing anything that harms the environment. That way the free market will sort out the good and bad as well as promote more efficient sources of energy. My only suggestion is to make sure that these taxes don't involve credits that rich companies can buy or trade on the open market to avoid their environmental obligations.
I especially appreciated Green's assessment that "subsidies create a fertile garden for rent seekers." We've seen a plans for ethanol plants on hold or crumbling because savvy investors are holding back. They see that some avenues such as ethanol are completely dependent on subsidies or sky-high oil prices. I would rather see grants for more fast-track research on alternatives such as biofuels from algae.

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[Source: Kenneth P. Green/American Enterprise Institute]

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