Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 4
I'll up front state my suspicion and cynicism about the level of corruption in the government and the power of the oil & gas industry lobbies, which conditions my statement below.

My wish: When FDR and Congress made rural electrification happen in the 30s, they didn't put it on the backs of the rural poor to figure out how to pay for the powerlines being run to their houses with "incentives". Which is why it *happened*. If people had to pay the equivalent of $14,000 back then, with "credits" for the amount of oil and firewood they weren't buying for their oil lamps and fireplaces, with a maybe-never payback, it never would have happened.

If we as a society are, in the majority, committed to burning less fossil fuels there are two ways my pea brain can think of to make it happen:
- a SEA bill based roughly on the original old REA (...provided federal loans for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve isolated rural areas of the United States. The funding was channeled through cooperative electric power companies, most of which still exist today.)
meaning grants to households to make it happen, with necessary price and profit controls on the solar system manufacturers.

- use a similar funding approach but focus it on installing solar / wind farms "in front of" the existing oil and gas plants.

It won't be easy, but pushing it down as an individual choice to be done by the 5% or 1% that can afford to "do the right thing" regardless of budget cost is just bad, lazy policy.

All the existing subsidies and credits do is allow the alt energy tech companies to inflate their prices by the amount of the credit. The individual gets a one time tax credit while the company makes a massive profit, and the utilities get to rake a % of the power surplus back in their financials. (Like what has happened with electric vehicles.)

FC
I know it's not as simple as this and there are plenty of legitimate reasons why it's not done this way.
Print the post  

Announcements

Disclaimer - Please Read
A message about professional advice.
Useful Resources
Our Home Center has all you need to make buying and owning a home a great experience. Get or refinance a mortgage and much more!
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.