Friday, September 26, 2008

Incentives or Investments?

Federal subsidies and their role in promoting our national interests have been debated since the earliest days of our nation. Earlier this week, NEI and Management Information Services Inc. released a MISI report that catalogs in exhaustive detail the panoply of federal subsidies for energy development since 1950. This report presents the facts on the many forms of subsidies employed by the federal government and the amounts expended to promote each type of energy. As the principal author, Dr. Roger Bezdek, said to reporters at the National Press Club on Tuesday, the report does not make any judgments about the appropriateness of the mix, amounts, or targets of energy subsidies. It simply tries to lay out the numbers as completely and accurately as possible, so that public discussion about the history and future of federal energy incentives can be well informed.
The MISI report also does not touch on the other side of the subsidy story - what the public gets in return. NEI has done a series of studies of the economic benefits of individual nuclear power plants. Using typical results from those studies in 2005 NEI estimated the lifetime economic benefits of a new nuclear plant. As shown in the table above, the results indicate that the typical new plant will return more than 11 to 20 billion dollars in local, state and federal taxes and jobs over its lifetime.


Charles Barton said...

The MISI report, together with the 2007 EIA report on Federal energy interventions, quite clearly demonstrates that the civilian nuclear power industry has in total received federal subsidies that are less than 10% the amount claimed claimed by nuclear critics. This "subsidy" is more than offset by the $14 Billion which the civilian nuclear power industry has paid to the federal government for services which the government has failed to provide.

When this subsidy to the federal government is subtracted from the industry's total federal subsidy, it is clear that the nuclear power industry inadvertently subsidizes the federal government rather than the other way around.

See my posts on Nuclear Green for more details:
(I have also cross posted to Energy from Thorium and Daily Kos.)

Anonymous said...

This is double-counting. The MISI study, if you read it, already deducted the $14 billion in the Nuclear Waste Fund from its figure for historical total subsidies to nuclear power.

Why won't you post this comment?