Understanding energy policy

Another year, another rash of resolutions. But this reporter long ago gave up futile vows to lose weight and become a better person. Now I just hope to understand some of life's greatest puzzles. For example, I wish I could understand how a government guarantee of a $535 million loan to a financially troubled solar-panel manufacturer was "an investment in the future," while taking from oil and gas companies the same tax provisions enjoyed by other businesses is a gutsy move to curb "subsidies." Government financing was supposed to create 4,000 "green" jobs. Instead, the firm went bankrupt, laid off employees, and let taxpayers pick up the bill. President Bara...

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