U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., has finally found an energy subsidy he doesn’t like…
“The amendment – and I appreciate my colleague from Virginia for helping to bring it forward here today – would help reduce the budget deficit by $25 million,” said Polis, vice chair of the House Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coalition. ”At a time when we all know we need to make some of the hard cuts to balance our budget, why not make some of the easy cuts? Oil shale, and the research that’s reduced under this amendment, does not exist in any economically viable fashion. In fact, many of the corporations and companies that would have the most self-interest in developing oil shale have given it not even a second priority or a third priority – a distant, distant priority and cut back on much of the research because there simply is no economically viable way to produce oil shale.”
“…Why is it a justifiable use of taxpayer funds to continue to pursue this boondoggle of a technology that we have already sunken (sic) billions of dollars into with zero return for taxpayers, with zero return for energy independence, and with zero return for reducing energy prices for our country.”
“…Why does this bill continue to invest good money after bad, to continue to throw another $25 million down the billion-dollar hole that has been pursued and talked about for over a century. The technologically to – in an economically viable way – to extract oil shale simply does not exist.”
A fair point. When I was running for the state legislature, I had a long discussion with a very conservative friend, who’s also a highly regarded petroleum engineer. She strongly discouraged me from emphasizing shale oil as part of the energy platform.
Companies can invest in oil shale to their hearts’ content, even in amounts that dwarf the government contributions, but perhaps that means those government contributions would be better off back in taxpayers’ pockets. And a majority of the House agreed last week, passing the Connolly-Polis amendment by one vote.