David Weiss of New York Farmers' Windpower, LLC, provides a thoughtful perspective on energy subsidies in a letter to the Albany Times-Union. Says Weiss, in part:
Renewable energy needs no subsidies at all. What it does need is a level playing field -- government policies that remove all subsidies from nuclear power and fossil fuels, forcing them to compete fairly and openly with wind, solar, biomass, increased efficiency and all the other renewable energy that can carry its weight in this country.
It's time we had a level playing field in energy, so we can watch the economy turn green.
Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. The most important subsidy for fossil fuels is an invisible one: allowing fossil fuel mines, wells and power plants to emit air, water and global warming pollution into our common environment at less than the full cost of cleanup. Until that changes, as Weiss suggests, renewable energy sources will continue to face an uphill battle.