Why Fossil Fuel Companies Don’t Fail like Solyndra

by Shawn | Be the first to comment

I recently engaged in a friendly debate online on the merits of renewable energy versus fossil fuel energy, and the other side once again brought up Solyndra as a reason why solar companies aren’t as financially viable as fossil fuel companies. I have an idea why gas, oil and electric companies don’t fail like renewable energy companies. Maybe we haven’t heard about failures of gas, oil and electricity providers because they receive so much more government support compared to renewable energy companies.

This is an image of a chart comparing fossil fuel subsidies to renewable energy subsidies.

I believe that governments should invest in renewable energy technology (mainly solar), as well as support laws that allow for the fair competition of renewable energy with current means of energy production (mainly fossil fuels). Currently the subsidies and laws are skewed to favor oil and gas companies and electric utilities (who often act as local monopolies). This is unfair, anti-competitive and should be corrected.

This is an image of the Koch brothers blocking the sun from a solar energy consumer.

Oklahomans who have spent money to generate their own clean and green power now must pay compensation to the power companies.

This sounds a bit like government trampling on the independence of the citizenry.

It makes my blood boil to read articles like this one in the LA Times about big utilities (who mainly earn profits from the burning of fossil fuels) successfully lobbying for the passage of bills that stifle competition and protect their profits at the expense of consumers, the environment, and competition.

Fossil fuel companies receive tax money from our government at a much higher rate than renewable energy companies. Then they use that money to produce energy (from sources which are much more finite than solar and wind), make higher profits than any other companies, and then use these profits to support legislation that unfairly gives them advantages over renewable energy, decreases competition, and increases their profits.

Taxes -> Government -> Fossil Fuel Companies -> Government -> Fossil Fuel Companies

Stop talking about Solyndra as a reason why the government shouldn’t invest in renewable energy. If the US started subsidizing renewable energy the way fossil fuels have been subsidized, then maybe solar would be more cost efficient, the environment would be cleaner, and the biggest companies in the world wouldn’t be oil, gas, and electric companies.

Biggest Companies by Revenue

  1. Royal Dutch Shell – oil
  2. Wal-Mart Stores – consumer goods
  3. Exxon Mobil – oil 
  4. Sinopec Group – gas
  5. China National Petroleum – gas, oil
  6. BP – oil
  7. State Grid – electric company
  8. Toyota Motor – cars
  9. Volkswagen – cars
  10. Total – oil
  11. Chevron – gas, oil

Maybe that’s why fossil fuel companies don’t fail like Solyndra.