Saturday, November 7, 2009

There oughta be (another) law

Oregon energy officials released new rules Tuesday aimed at curbing a controversial state program that grants lucrative tax subsidies for wind, solar and other renewable power plants.

The changes are intended to rein in some of the runaway costs of the program by making it harder for one project to qualify for multiple tax credits and by giving the Oregon Department of Energy greater leeway to deny an application.

The announcement of the new rules comes on the heels of an investigation by The Oregonian that showed state officials lowballed the cost of the Business Energy Tax Credit program before asking the Legislature to boost the size of the subsidies. The investigation also showed little oversight or accountability in the way the credits have been handed out.

This all sounds fine and dandy – who isn’t for regulations to rein in the abuse of tax payer money? But at the end of the day, you’re asking abuse of tax-payer money via governmental intervention to be solved by… further governmental intervention.

Perhaps, the whole issue of subsidies for green money pits should be reconsidered rather than going with more regulatory layering.

No comments: