Should the federal government stop doling out dollars to energy sources ranging from renewables to fossil fuels?
Debate is heating up on Capitol Hill and elsewhere about how much money Washington policymakers should give to energy sources, including oil, natural gas, wind, solar, and ethanol. Renewables and ethanol companies receive temporary tax credits that Congress votes to renew or not each year. Both industries say the subsidies are essential to their growth.
Oil and gas companies, meanwhile, have been receiving permanent tax deductions for nearly a century. Citing record-high profits of major oil companies, President Obama and nearly all congressional Democrats have continually tried -- albeit unsuccessfully -- to get rid of those tax deductions. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other House Republicans indicated last week they were open to repealing some of the tax breaks.
Should the government stop giving money - in the form of tax deductions and subsidies alike - to all energy sources or just some of them? Or conversely, should Congress make temporary tax credits for renewables and ethanol permanent?