Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rick Perry & Ron Paul Contradictory On Energy Subsidies

Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, right, and Ron Paul, left, have been speaking out against federal subsidies for energy projects, but evidence is being presented that shows both of them have tried to obtain such benefits in 2008. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) pressed Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in 2008 to approve a federal loan guarantee to help NRG Energy compete for a part of $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees set aside for nuclear production. In recent candidates debates, the two have criticized federal energy loan programs.

Perry at the Tuesday night CNN debate:
“We don’t need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion. The federal government should not be involved in that type of investment, period. If states want to choose to do that, I think that’s fine for states to do.”

“We need to have a discussion in this country about our 10th Amendment and the appropriateness of it, as it’s been eroded by Washington, D.C., for all these many years, whether it’s health care, whether it’s education, or whether it’s dealing with energy. We don’t need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion, allow the states to make the decision.” 
Paul at the Tuesday night CNN debate:

“The government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy.”

The programs were created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 during the George W. Bush administration and were expanded in 2007 and again in President Obama's 2009 stimulus plan.

Perry requested loan guarantee support:
“I am writing to express my strong support for the proposed nuclear power generating facility in Matagorda County.”
Paul rquested loan guarantee support:
“I am writing in support of the loan guarantee application filed by NRG Energy, Inc. for two new nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project. Additionally, the construction and operation of STP 3 and 4 will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs.”
The NRG plant had been among 15 finalists for part of the nuclear loan guarantees. The Energy Department decided to grant its first round of loan guarantees to a nuclear plant in Georgia. Last spring, after the Japanese tsunami and the ensuing nuclear crisis chilled the appetite for nuclear investment, NRG Energy abandoned its five-year pursuit of a plant expansion. (Wash Post, 10/19/2011)

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