Get the Energy Sector off the Dole

GET THE ENERGY SECTOR OFF THE DOLE…. With global warming deniers about to take charge of the House of Representatives, there would seem to be little hope for major clean energy legislation in this Congress. But all is not lost, argues Jeffrey Leonard in the latest issue of the Washington Monthly. Last fall’s election let loose political forces that President Obama can tap to set us on a path to a sustainable energy future with a simple proposal: eliminate all energy subsidies.

Yes, eliminate them all — for oil, coal, gas, nuclear, ethanol, even for wind and solar. It will be better for national security, the budget deficit, and, believe it or not, the environment. Green energy sources get only the tiniest sliver of the overall federal subsidy pie, so they’ll have a competitive advantage in the long term if all subsidies, including the huge ones for fossil fuels, are eliminated. In addition, deep trends in America’s energy supply, including discoveries of huge natural gas reserves, will over time create favorable terrain for wind, solar, and other energy sources that liberals love — but only if our entrenched system of subsidies doesn’t gum up the works. And while getting the energy sector off the dole may have once been politically impossible, with anti-pork Tea Partiers loose in Washington and deficit cutting in the air, the moment may finally be right.

Read “Get the Energy Sector off the Dole.”

Also, the rest of the new January/February 2011 issue is also now online. Here’s the table of contents:

Editor’s Note
The Jiujitsu Kid
by Paul Glastris

Tilting at Windmills
Cool Hand Barack … Don’t let sleeping lies dog … Capitalism could break your heart …
by Charles Peters

Cover story: “What He Should Say in the State of the Union: Memos to Obama

Features…

A Time Against Race
Last year Mitch Landrieu became the first white mayor of New Orleans in three decades. He did so by garnering majority support from citizens of both races — the rarest of achievements in American politics. How long can he hold it all together?
by Justin Vogt

Get the Energy Sector off the Dole
Why ending all government subsidies for fuel production will lead to a cleaner energy future — and why Obama has a rare chance to make it happen.
by Jeffrey Leonard

On Political Books…

Goodnight Moon
Will America ever escape the shadow of Apollo?
by Charles Homans

Solitary Confinement
Tony Judt thought a great deal about dignity. His final book, written while the author was dying of ALS, is the epitome of it.
by Michael O’Donnell

Valley Forged
Early American counterfeiters and their heirs on Wall Street.
by Jamie Malanowski

Guerillas in the Mist
Peter Bergen blows away the political fog surrounding our war against al-Qaeda.
by Christian Caryl

The Greater Terror
In his masterful new history, Timothy Snyder portrays Stalin’s and Hitler’s mass exterminations as flip sides of the same genocide—one that was both more horrible and less unique than we thought.
by Benjamin Wallace-Wells