Senator Lamar Alexander has energy subsidies in his crosshairs.

Dollar_Sign_PlugSenator Lamar Alexander, who is leaving his Senate leadership post, has energy subsidies in his crosshairs as he plots his next steps.

“First, I would try to swap the money we’re spending on permanent subsidies for energy and invest it instead in research. Second, I’d like to focus these funds on the most promising areas of clean energy. I’ve devised a plan for seven mini-Manhattan Projects for energy independence: solar, batteries, green building, capturing carbon, fusion, making fuels from crops we don’t eat and finding better ways to deal with nuclear fuel,” said Alexander, who praised Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s energy innovation “hubs.”

Alexander said he has identified $20 billion annually in energy subsidies that could instead be funneled into clean energy R&D. Alexander is no fan of wind energy, and said he would begin by targeting that sector’s tax breaks. “I also believe the oil companies don’t need subsidies beyond those that other manufacturing and producing companies have,” Alexander said.

Alexander bucks a GOP trend with his belief in human-induced global warming. He opposes cap-and-trade but is open to some kind of emissions limits on power plants — eventually.

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Source: Ben Geman | The Hill