Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Politics of Alternative Energy

An interesting article from Arnold Kling at TCS Daily on the hot air generated from the competition for energy subsidies:

The competition for politically-driven profits is known as rent-seeking. The end result of rent-seeking is that the gains to private firms from government subsidies are dissipated through competition. In the end, only lobbyists and corrupt government officials benefit. The politics of global warming and the alleged oil/terrorism link are creating the conditions for an orgy of rent-seeking relative to energy.

Chances are, lobbyists will use up more energy than is produced by alternative energy subsidies. As for carbon dioxide emissions, cap-and-trade and energy subsidies certainly will increase the amount of jets flown by corporate executives to plead with politicians in Washington, Eurocrats in Brussels, and United Nations officials in New York. The net result is that the concentration of greenhouse gases probably will be higher, not lower.
You may want to read the whole thing.

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