Thought of the Day: Who Should Get Those Subsidies?

Welcome to Thought of the Day! Join Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield as she poses a thought of the day inspired by recent news events.

Following a spat between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a fossil fuel magnate, we’re asking today just what would happen if fossil fuels and renewable energy companies stopped receiving subsidies? Which fuel source would emerge triumphant? And more importantly, who SHOULD we be giving subsidies to in the first place?

Watch the video above, and leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Ed

    History and logic tell us that corporations and individuals will do what they are incentivized to do. Our issue here in the US is the ability of those who establish the rules and incentives to be influenced by those they regulate….via lobbying and campaign contributions. There are a few bright spots, but the big moves to help our environment have yet to be taken…and are being aggressively opposed by incumbent forces.

  • Surya

    It’s clear as day that governments should not subsidies dirty industries while they also try to promote clean energy.
    They should indeed move those subsidies from the fossil fuel industry to the renewable power industry, but the best way to do that would be to move the incentives to the point of purchase. So you don’t outright give money to corporations, you make it interesting for consumers to buy the green products. That will indirectly support the right companies and change the behavior of the consumer. And that’s what we want, no?

    • KIMS

      Can’t like this comment enough.
      To take ‘green’ out of it, you could also argue that subsidies are to encourage development of new/risky/emergent technologies and industries. Oil and gas industry clearly is no longer new or emergent and have well established markets and business models. (It still carries risk in some cases, but the risks are well understood and can be mostly managed if the will is there. Main risks that are not easily managed is in exploration/survey work not finding reservoirs.)

  • Albemarle

    There are subsidies and tax breaks for so many areas of society. Not only oil, gas and coal, but also electricity (particularly nuclear) collects enormous subsidies. Hydro dams get government support and so do solar and wind generation. So it would be wonderful if some university study could unwind all this and tell at least the government (because they are clueless) the net result of all this. And of course it would apply differently for every region in every country. We have other things to consider too, like government support for auto industry plants, (sure they could make electric cars, but they aren’t), government payouts to First Nations for flooding their valleys for hydro and so on and so on. Everything that government touches.

    Any area of our economy that is used by one side of the argument more than the other, needs to be investigated before a rational decision can be made.

    So, is more government money spent on the energy extraction industry? Probably, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to make decisions based on facts?