On "picking winners": fossil fuel industry raking in 10x the subsidies compared to renewables

Earlier today, we covered the words of some auto industry insiders at the recent Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City, MI, who said the didn't like that the Obama Administration was "picking winners" by funneling funds on plug-in vehicles. Well, okay, they're entitled to their opinion. But, if the industry doesn't want governments to push one particular energy type over another, maybe auto industry execs should seriously reconsider their support of fossil-fueled engines.

The reason? The Guardian recently reported that Bloomberg New Energy Finance has issued a report that found government subsidies for fossil fuels around the world just plain blow out renewable energy subsidies ten-to-one. Yes, for every dollar the auto execs don't want spent on plug-in vehicles, there are more than ten bucks given to keep the gas and oil companies in the crude black. The report found that governments spent somewere between $43 and $46 billion on renewable energy and biofuel industries in 2009. By comparison, governments gave $557 billion to the fossil fuel industry in 2008.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance CEO Michael Liebrach told the Guardian:
One of the reasons the clean energy sector is starved of funding is because mainstream investors worry that renewable energy only works with direct government support. Setting aside the fact that in many cases clean energy competes on its own merits - for instance in the case of well-situated wind farms and Brazilian sugarcane ethanol - this analysis shows that the global direct subsidy for fossil fuels is around 10 times the subsidy for renewables.
So, auto execs: we appreciate everything you're doing to give us more efficient vehicles, but maybe you should keep a lid on it when it comes to policy complaining unless you're ready for real change. Just make getting off gas yesterday's news.

[Source: The Guardian via Treehugger | Image: anolobb – C.C. License 2.0]

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