By Katie Tubb
One of the many problems of having a massive federal government is that sometimes, its own agencies work at cross-purposes.
Consider the government’s posture toward solar energy.
On the one hand, the government has been busy for decades subsidizing the solar industry with exorbitant handouts. On the other, the U.S. International Trade Commission is now poised to make a decision on steep tariffs that would make solar power so expensive as to challenge the industry’s existence in the U.S.
How exactly did this self-defeating prospect come about?
Earlier this year, two American solar manufacturing companies—Suniva and SolarWorld—petitioned the International Trade Commission to investigate the effects of solar cell and panel imports.
They allege that domestic solar cell and panel manufacturing “cannot survive” without federal intervention—specifically, through globally applicable tariffs and price floors that would roughly double the price of solar cells and panels.
The International Trade Commission must decide by Sept. 22 whether to recommend that President Donald Trump act on the petition. Should the Commission recommend shielding these select few companies from competition, the Trump administration will be working at cross-purposes with another batch of government subsidies for solar energy.
Specifically, the solar industry has for decades received special tax credits, grants, loan programs, regulatory preferences, research and development, and other programs to “jumpstart” the solar industry that have cost taxpayers billions over the last three decades. In fact, the solar industry is the most subsidized energy resource in America, according to the University of Texas at Austin.
Raising tariffs on solar imports, as the Commission is now contemplating, would work at complete counter purposes to these government subsidies. The tariffs requested by Suniva and SolarWorld’s will make solar products and services in America more expensive and less competitive by removing inexpensive, often imported choices from other solar …read more
From:: Daily Signal – Feed