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Sierra Daily

Sep 23, 2011

We Heart Oil & Gas

With a hat tip to the treasure trove that is the New York Times Green Blog, a new report attempts to calculate how much the U.S. subsidized its oil, gas, and nuclear industries during their first 15 years (for oil and gas, starting from 1918; for nuclear, starting from 1947). The point being -- hint, hint --  that the numbers could show how emerging renewable-energy technologies are being treated compared to the old standbys. (The report’s authors are Nancy Pfund,  managing partner of a fund that backs renewable energy ventures, and Ben Healey, an environmentalist studying business administration and engineering management at Yale.)

The authors’ findings:  “Nuclear subsidies came to more than 1 percent of the federal budget in their first 15 years, and ... oil and gas subsidies made up one-half of 1 percent of the total budget in their first 15 years.” As for all those really cool solar panels and wind turbines? “Renewables have constituted only about a tenth of a percent,’’ according to the report.

-- Reed McManus

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