Big Green Wants Your Tax Dollars

In my piece on Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, I quoted Mr. Buffett and his Vice Co-Chair Mr. Munger's own admission; much of the green technology they invest in like wind and solar through Berkshire Energy is dependent upon government subsidies to survive.

The meaning of this is rather simple. We are told repeatedly about Big Oil without acknowledging that many businessmen and investors are getting rather rich through the help of our government by investing in Big Green. Buffett understands that without any government help for much of the “alternative energy,” there is no alternative energy industry to speak of.

From 2010 to 2013, renewable electricity related subsides increased by 54 percent with solar energy, having a fivefold increase as wind subsidies increased by 9 percent. As for fossil fuels, coal subsidies declined by 3 percent and subsidies for oil and natural gas declined by 20%, while nuclear energy subsidies dropped 12 percent, even though both nuclear energy and natural gas are clean fuel sources when it comes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Environmentalists lump natural gas with oil and coal while nuclear energy has been put on the extinction list for the past three decades, and if you want to know why wind and solar are prime targets for increases in subsidies, it is because many leftist billionaires and multi-millionaires like Mr. Green himself, Al Gore, profit from it.

The case of Solyndra is a perfect example of Big Green in action as the solar panel company received many subsidies before it went belly up. One of the biggest investors was George Kaiser, a major Obama fundraiser, and as Representative Cliff Stearns noted that he was concerned, “That there was a hurry to get this money out of the door and that companies and individuals that supported the President were among the beneficiaries.” Translation: many subsidies were based on political connection as opposed to the worthiness of the project.

This was just one example of Big Green in action as politically directed investments reallocate funding not based on markets, but who knows who politically. It shows that very wealthy investors want the government to either bail out their failed company or simply put up taxpayer’s money to enhance their profit margins.

Neil Auerbach, a managing partner at Hudson Clean Energy Partners and Ed Feo of USRG Renewables defended the program and one reason might be that they received millions of dollars from taxpayers to make a go of renewables like solar. Call it corporate welfare, but it does show that there is money to be made in renewables provided that taxpayers are the one with skin in the game. Meanwhile, Al Gore continues to lecture us all on the evil of climate change, while he, along with others line their pocket. Something to think about when someone complains of the influence of Big Oil or Big Coal; Big Green has its own tentacles into the pockets of taxpayers while many very wealthy investors are profiting.


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