Aged technologies 'don't deserve' subsidies

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Chris Woodward (
An author and senior fellow for a public policy organization is defending his theory that wind and solar power companies wouldn't exist without politicians and government subsidies.

During a recent interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, Christopher Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) said wind and solar power technologies have been around since the late 1800s, but those companies continue to claim they are nascent technologies that will go broke unless they get more money. Media Matters, a watchdog group whose aim is to correct "conservative misinformation," then picked up the story and criticized both Horner and Cavuto. "What they said is that Cavuto had 'selective outrage' over subsidies to things that don't work. My general position on subsidies is if it works, they don't need them; and if it doesn't, they don't deserve them," Horner explains. "They convinced buddies in government that they should get money from you and me; they did not get money through what we consider innovation." wind powerHe goes on to report that pro-wind and pro-solar power groups will argue that politicians have funded them for being innovative, but the CEI senior fellow points out that is actually lobbying. "Coal...oil and gas...lobby too, but at least they're contributing; they work," Horner contends. "Again, that means they don't need the subsidies. If we took away all subsidies -- and I wish we would -- they would still be here tomorrow, [but] windmills and solar panels would not, because they are not new technologies." He further adds that it would not even matter if those power sources were new, because "new technologies don't necessarily need subsidies."

These comments were made this week on American Family Radio's Nothing But Truth program.

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