U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow was named “Porker of the Month” for March by a national tax watchdog organization for proposing to extend federal subsidies for green energy.
Citizens Against Government Waste tabbed Sen. Stabenow, a Lansing Democrat, because she proposed an amendment to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, that would have “extended federal subsidies for green energy, including alternative fueling stations, biofuels, refined coal, energy-efficient appliances, and wind power, among others,” according to a CAGW press release.
The CAGW stated that many of the extensions Stabenow proposed were tied to the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or better known as the stimulus.
Stabenow’s amendment was defeated March 13.
“When the stimulus originally passed, one of the biggest concerns, beyond its exorbitant initial cost, was that supposedly temporary programs would become permanent and waste taxpayer dollars in perpetuity,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz in a press release. “Sen. Stabenow has demonstrated that those fears were not unfounded. The past six months have been marred by examples of the futility of picking winners in energy markets, which already have access to private capital. Failures at Solyndra, Ener1, Beacon, Tesla, Amonix, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, SunPower, and others make it obvious that the government has about as much chance of stumbling across a four-leaf clover as it does of being successful as a venture capitalist. Not only should these programs not be extended, they should be terminated.”
Paul Chesser, an associate fellow at the National Legal & Policy Center, said subsidies and tax credits for specific businesses that are not made available for all businesses are a bad idea.
“The free market is always a better decider than government of what businesses are worthy of survival or thriving, or which ones fail,” Chesser wrote in an email. “The subsidies for alternative energy and electric vehicles are just propping up businesses that would fail without them, and as we are seeing now, many are failing even with the subsidies.”
Sen. Stabenow’s office didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.