I have been following with interest the running comment thread on my post asking about whether electric cars are actually cleaner, or if they just shift pollution outside of the consumer’s view. Very quickly, and probably inevitably, the post shifted to a cost-benefit analysis, which aimed to compare fossil fuel to alternative fuels. Just as quickly, each side started accusing the other of hiding the real price of these energy sources behind government funding, whether in direct funds (alternative energy) or tax benefits (fossil fuels and alternative energy).
After reading everything, my question about the clean-air benefits of electric cars remains unanswered. I don’t think anyone delivered a killing blow about electric cars’ virtues or failures. What is patently clear, though, is that government interference perverts the marketplace, preventing a true analysis of each energy source’s true costs and, by extension, its true benefit in decreasing pollution. It’s impossible to tell whether there wouldn’t be more utility in putting energy into clean methods for extracting, refining, and using fossil fuels, as opposed to having the government prop up the creation and use of alternative energy. Only the marketplace can provide this true value analysis, and the government is completely corrupted the marketplace.
If I was king of the world, I would do away entirely with all direct or indirect subsidies. Only in that way can we measure what really works.