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Letter to the editor: The illusion of the free market
Letter to the Editor generic

Dear Editor,

The illusion of free markets is regularly resuscitated by the deviously misleading columns of devout status-quo propagandists like Victor Davis Hanson.

In one of his latest assaults on reality, Hanson pontificated the virtues of the free market in reaching rational decisions regarding energy production and use. At the same time, he ridiculed consumers and environmentalists for their troublesome support of rapid transformation to clean sources of power.

Hanson’s preposterously deceptive, fabricated fantasy ignored tens of billions of dollars spent in government subsidy of giant fossil-fuel corporations — hypocritically portraying them as paragons of the free market.

A report by Taxpayers for Common Sense featured a litany of such subsidies:

• Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit — $31 billion

• Intangible Drilling Costs — $8.9 billion

• Oil and Gas Royalty Relief — $6.9 billion

• Percentage Depletion Allowance — $4.3 billion

• Refinery Equipment Deductions — $2.3 billion

• Geological and Geophysical Costs Tax Credit — $698 million

• Natural Gas Distribution Lines — $500 million

• Ultradeepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and other Petroleum Resources R& D — $230 million

• Various other subsidies — $366 million How many billions in our tax dollars must be perniciously squandered in subsidizing Big Oil profits before mainstream media will acknowledge that the heavy hand of political manipulation has crushed the notion of fair competition in energy?

If we hope to prevent the worst damages of climate change, the massive release of heat-trapping greenhouse gases must be decisively and expediently reduced. To achieve this, voters must demand that wasteful government subsidies for dirty power are eliminated.


David Kyler, Center for a Sustainable Coast

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