Ryan’s free market ideas for energy technology leave alternative sources by the wayside


    Paul Ryan’s claim to fame inside the beltway has been his knack for budgetary knowledge and the mainstream media’s love affair with Ryan’s “bold” budget ideas. But what has been cast as bold spells bad news for a host of government programs that play important roles in our society, the least of which has been science and energy technology itself.

    Not surprisingly, perhaps, Paul Ryan is an advocate of LARGER military spending, not less.  What might come as even less surprising is Ryan’s reluctance to invest in nonmilitary applied research, specifically in energy technology. Ryan claims that the private sector is the best option for selecting “winners and losers” (the contradiction between advocating government funded military spending, including military research, and riding the free market horse for science related nonmilitary endeavors is so blatant that it’s a wonder Ryan’s head doesn’t ‘explode).

    According to Paul Ryan’s website, the U.S. “must continue to develop new sources of energy that are reliable, renewable, affordable, and environmentally safe.”  Agreed, but Ryan also believes that market forces will provide the most effective returns, not taxpayer dollars used by the government (notwithstanding Ryan’s funding of some “high risk” government funding projects like ARPA-E).

    Unfortunately for Americans if Paul Ryan wins further political power, the private sector is at best on an equal playing field with government when it comes to supporting America’s energy programs for the future. That is, until the U.S. government makes different forms of energy like wind and solar power more economically competitive with the old wave of energy forms then the old wave will continue to dominate America’s energy portfolio with little innovation being pursued or cheaper prices for renewable forms of energy making headway.  

    This is a principle of the free market system, a principle that many conservatives like Ryan selectively pursue in their policymaking decisions.

    Without government help, riskier forms of alternative energy will not stand a chance in the market place. For this very reason, Ryan’s budget ideas will only sink the U.S. further into an energy future predicated upon dirty and nonrenewable forms of energy.