Stop the war against fossil fuels — or else.
With just a month to go before it is set to expire, congressional supporters of a Treasury Department renewable energy grant program have started lobbying their colleagues to keep the effort alive for one more year.
Last year, an extension of the Treasury Department’s Section 1603 grant-in-lieu-of-tax-credit program was tucked into a mid-December tax deal after House and Senate leaders rallied around the effort. But this year, the program is facing a very different environment, energy insiders say, where government subsidy programs for renewable energy efforts have been tainted by the August collapse of the Solyndra solar energy company that received a half-billion dollars in loan guarantees through a Department of Energy program.
Some observers privately wonder if the Treasury program could become collateral damage as members of Congress and the White House worry about bringing up the specter of Solyndra.
At least one Republican proposal has already been floated to repeal a slew of subsidies including the 1603 program, which was originally created through the stimulus bill.
Next year an even bigger subsidy expires — the production tax credit for the wind and solar rentseekers.
While we oppose energy subsidies, if it “only” cost a few billion dollars to bring the Obama war against fossil fuels to an end, that would be money well spent.
Congressional Republicans should hold all renewable energy subsidies hostage until the anti-fossil fuel activities of the EPA are halted and the Keystone XL pipeline is approved.