The fossil fuel defenders at the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity are out with another “you can’t make this stuff up” claim in their never-ending battle to kill sustainable energy. Last week, the group issued a statement in which it made the following amazing claim:
“It’s time for lawmakers to make responsible decisions about the future of North Carolina’s electrical grid. The subsidies and mandates for expensive, so-called green energy are no longer a sustainable path or an acceptable burden for taxpayers. Americans for Prosperity has advocated separately for the end of North Carolina’s renewable energy tax credit and the Renewable Portfolio Standard. It is morally repugnant that some lawmakers are now trying to maintain both costly laws.”
Uh…Earth to AFP: Here’s what’s “morally repugnant” when it comes to the planet’s consumption of energy: the hundreds of billions of dollars that all of us pay to deal with the destructive impact of fossil fuels. As we reported back in May:
“Fossil fuels aren’t cheaper than renewables. As a new and powerful report from the International Monetary Fund demonstrates convincingly, the true cost of fossil fuels to society is vastly higher when one figures in the massive public subsidies that are expended in the form of environmental damage, health impacts and the public costs of dealing with both.
‘Governments around the world charge prices for energy that do not account for its harmful environmental, health and other side effects, amounting to a $5.3 trillion ‘post-tax’ subsidy this year, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on Monday.
The IMF said China in particular failed to charge its more than 1 billion consumers for the pollution that comes from heavy use of fossil fuels, adding up to a $2.3 trillion subsidy this year.
The United States was the second-biggest offender, with an estimated $699 billion subsidy, followed by Russia, the European Union, India and Japan.’
You got that? The nations of the world are effectively spending around 6.5% of their gross domestic product dealing with the effects of fossil fuel pollution, but because most fail to include it in the upfront price charged for fossil fuels, we labor under a wildly false impression of their true cost. If the Americans built an extra $699 billion per year into the upfront price of fossil fuels instead of just paying it later, you can rest assured that the “free market” would produce some different results. In comparison, the subsidies provided to the renewable energy industry – an industry with a comparatively tiny environmental impact – are laughably insignificant.”