A Pro-Market Energy Policy May 29, 2011 : 2:45 PM

Ezra Klein makes a great point:

“We cap liability for nuclear disaster at $12.6 billion. Oil companies are legally responsible only for the first $350 million in costs from an onshore spill and the first $75 million for an offshore spill. A variety of tax credits and regulatory standards encourage the blending of ethanol into other fuels. Those are all subsidies, too, though they’re not counted on the graph.”

“The irony of our energy debate is that the pro-market position would look something like this: Price energy at its real cost, no matter the source, and wipe out the various subsidies in the system. As the free-market philosopher F.A. Hayek said, we cannot leave the ‘harmful effects of deforestation, or of some methods of farming, or of the smoke and noise of factories . . . to the owner of the property in question. . . . In such instances we must find some substitute for the regulation by the price mechanism.’”

[Source: Washington Post]