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The Case Against Section 1603 Grants ($5 billion easy pieces)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- February 28, 2011

Congress is rightfully concerned about closing the huge, systemic budget deficit. In this climate, eliminating Section 1603 grants for politically correct renewable energy should be considered an easy target.

By way of background, this particular subsidy came about due to persistent pressure from lobbying groups like American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Their main argument is that these grants will promote jobs and economic benefits. Of course, as lobbyists this is what they are paid to say. But in these times of more focused financial prudence, we need to critically look at such expenditures in a more objective light — especially since we are talking about some five billion dollars.

The 1603 Grants should be cancelled entirely. In my view the best way to see how ineffective these expenditures are is to consider what the alternatives are for this same money.…