Obama energy policy pay to play, Reward supporters, Punish taxpayers, Commerce Department imposes new import fees on solar panels made in China
“If some politicians have their way, there won’t be any more public investments in solar energy,” …Barack Obama
“Obama’s energy policy is pay to play”…Citizen Wells
“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”
Wasn’t the argument that we needed to become more energy independent, not reward Obama’s supporters?
Let’s face it. At this point in time, the Chinese are going to make solar cells and panels at a lower cost than we are, with or without tariffs.
A good friend of mine approached me several months ago and asked if I was concerned about the Chinese subsidizing their solar cell production. I looked and him and exclaimed. Absolutely not! Let the Chinese bring the cost down, which they have. That will lower the cost here and put more people to work installing them, fuel ancillary industries and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Instead, Obama and his administration have rewarded his supporters such as Solyndra at the cost of taxpayer dollars. Then the American manufacturers fail and they along with Obama blame the Chinese.
It’s the Chinese stupid. This should have been factored in to manufacturing decisons and energy policies. The Chinese are a known factor. They didn’t just show up yesterday.
A smart, taxpayer friendly solution would be to work with the Chinese. If they can make the solar cells (and they can) cheaper, let them. Let them lower the price at their expense and learn from their technology like the Japanese did with us. At some point in time it may make sense for the US to manufacture solar cells. Regardless, in a reality based decision platform, “let’s make lemonade out of lemons.”
From The LA Times March 20, 2012.
“U.S. sets new tariffs on China solar panels”
“The U.S. Commerce Department has imposed new import fees on solar panels made in China, finding that the Chinese government is improperly giving subsidies to manufacturers of the panels there.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday it has found on a preliminary basis that Chinese solar panel makers have received government subsidies of 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent. Therefore the department said tariffs in the same proportions will be charged on Chinese panels imported into the U.S., depending on which company makes them.
The tariff amounts are considered small, but the decision could ratchet up trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Several U.S. solar panel makers had asked the government to impose steep tariffs on Chinese imports. They are struggling against stiff competition from China as well as weakening demand in Europe and other key markets, just as President Barack Obama is working to promote renewable energy.
“Today’s announcement affirms what U.S. manufacturers have long known: Chinese manufacturers have received unfair … subsidies,” Steve Ostrenga, CEO of Helios Solar Works in Milwaukee, Wis., said in a statement. The company is a member of a group called the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing.
On the other side, some U.S. companies argue that low-priced Chinese imports have helped consumers and promote rapid growth of the industry.”
“The U.S. and China are two of the world’s biggest markets for solar, wind and other renewable energy technology. Both governments are promoting their own suppliers in hopes of generating higher-paid technology jobs.
The U.S. manufacturers’ complaints have been amplified by the controversy surrounding Solyndra Inc. — a California-based solar panel maker that filed for bankruptcy protection after winning a $500 million federal loan from the Obama administration.
Solyndra’s failure embarrassed the administration and prompted a lengthy review by congressional Republicans who are critical of Obama’s green energy policies. Solyndra has cited Chinese competition as a key reason for its failure.
U.S. energy officials say China spent more than $30 billion last year to subsidize its solar industry. Obama said in November that China has “questionable competitive practices” in clean energy and that his administration has fought “these kinds of dumping activities.” The administration will act to enforce trade laws where appropriate, Obama said.”