When David Vitter isn’t missing votes to visit prostitutes, he’s a paid man of the oil and gas industry.
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who last month won a spot in Louisiana’s upcoming gubernatorial run-off, made an appearance late last week on the SportsChat radio show out of Acadiana. When the discussion turned to policy, the host asked Vitter to name an example of somewhere he’d like to cut the deficit. The Louisiana Republican pointed to encouraging solar panels as an example of government excess.
“We have some tax credits that are really giveaways and spending items by another name. For instance, the solar tax credit. That’s a check from the taxpayers for folks to buy solar panels,” Vitter said. “It’s really a spending program and it’s a big check. I don’t think the state taxpayer should be in the business of buying folks solar panels, mostly folks who are perfectly well off.”
Vitter has received over $1 million in donations from dirty energy industries through his political career.
As for the question of taxpayer support of clean energy, the obvious rejoinder but one that is never effective, is that taxpayers have supported the oil and gas industries for decades.
ouisiana has devoted around $147 million to solar tax credits since 2009, covering half the cost of rooftop installations. State lawmakers have already passed legislation to end solar tax credits by the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has collected over $2.4 billion from Louisiana taxpayers since 2008, according to a new documentary. In other words, for every $1 in tax credits that goes towards the solar industry annually, approximately $14 goes to oil and gas companies.
In addition, those oil and gas tax credits could balloon to $1 billion annually with continued growth in the fracking industry, according to some estimates.
But these are naturalized forms of support, going back so long that no one thinks of them as taxpayer subsidies anymore. Meanwhile, solar energy is something hippies like so it’s a waste.