“Last week, an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank came to a startling conclusion: By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. That’s without any changes to existing policy. In other words, we’re only a few years away from the point where, in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar. If you care about slowing climate change or just moving toward cleaner energy, that is a huge deal.
And solar energy is already going gangbusters… its potential is massive — it could power the [USA] 100 times over…”
In the long run, unregulated economies move to the lowest cost solutions. Without subsidies and publicly funded infrastructure, LNG from British Columbia is presently undeliverable and, as clean renewable energy becomes more cost-effective, industry demands for higher subsidies and other forms of relief will accelerate.
In time, with no profits to earn, foreigners will depart and remediation of wastes and contaminated lands will be an expense for the public. In the complete business cycle, from industry start-up to discontinuance, taxpayers will be the losers.
What gets left behind and who pays for cleanup?
- The Summitville Mine: “Galactic Resources Ltd. of Canada, walked away from the site and filed for bankruptcy late in 1992, leaving behind acid mine drainage and a 160-million-gallon containment filled with cyanide-laden water that threatened to spill over the earthen berm holding it back…”
- Tronox, Anadarko fight over cleanup costs may be just getting started: “U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper held that Kerr-McGee acted with “intent to hinder” when it spun off what became Tronox in 2005, saying it was liable for between $5.15 billion and $14.17 billion in environmental cleanup…”
- Taxpayers to pay for fracking pollution if companies go bust: “Taxpayers will pay to clean up any pollution caused by fracking if the companies go bankrupt, after a proposal to make UK operators take out insurance against such damage was ruled out by the government…”
- Supreme Court decision leaves taxpayers with the bill for cleaning up AbitibiBowater’s pollution: “The Supreme Court decided that remediation orders, which required AbitibiBowater (now Resolute Forest Products) to clean up after years of pollution, are equivalent to private financial claims under insolvency law. The end result is that taxpayers will bear much of the financial and environmental costs associated with cleaning up Abitibi’s industrial sites.
- Sugar industry accused of dodging Everglades clean-up costs: “Florida taxpayers have been left shouldering most of the $2 billion Everglades water pollution cleanup…”
- Albertans risk having to clean up once the carnival leaves town: “Oilsands mine reclamation liabilities in 2008 were estimated at up to $15 billion dollars — and the industry, along with the liabilities, has grown rapidly since…”
- Canadian taxpayers on the hook for catastrophic oil spills from Enbridge Northern Gateway: “Enbridge is not responsible for any of the costs associated with a spill once the oil is loaded onto tankers…”