Register reporter Philip Brasher’s story, Biomass firms: Taxpayers must share financial risk, October 21, 2006, is illustrative of the meaninglessness of the term “free market economy.”
The petroleum industry is quite profitable as it under the present system, so it really has no incentive to change the status quo. The best method of maintaining the current profitable regime for OPEC and the so-called Five Sisters of the oil industry is to strangle the infant upstart in his cradle.
Why else are industry giants, such as Shell Oil, asking that federal and state taxpayers pay the risk of developing new biofuel sources? Should the proposed biofuel ventures fail the major oil companies simply walk away leaving Uncle Sam holding the fiscal bag.
If the all the taxpayers of the nation or of a state must bear the risk of developing new technologies and biofuels for private industry, the traditional role of shareholders, should we not also be entitled to direct dividends much like Alaska’s citizens, who receive a yearly stipend for oil pumped from the North Slope?
The reality is that major energy companies do not wish the United States to wean itself off its dependence on oil, foreign or otherwise.