NY21 GOP hopeful Joe Gilbert talks energy policy, free market, governmental overreach

On one hand, he said, you have green advocates who are against any form of fossil fuel.

“It’s on their agenda to push green energy systems that are not economically viable,” he said. “The federal government pumps taxpayer money into them and they fail, like Solyndra,” he said, citing the thin-film solar cell manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan guarantee by the Department of Energy before going bankrupt and shutting down in 2011 because it was unable to compete against more traditional solar cell technology.

Gilbert said the federal government makes existing energy sources — like coal, for example — so expensive through excessive taxation, it makes the green systems more attractive. But those systems exist solely on government subsidies from the EPA, he said, and prices rise when coal plants are closed as a result before the total energy supply is then diminished.

“I’m all for green energy once it becomes viable,” he said. “But let the free market innovate first and when they get on the same playing field as fossil fuels, then it’s time to rock and roll.”


Gilbert said there’s only a few things the federal government can really do to create jobs.

First, he said, is reaching the state of energy independence. As the district’s representative, Gilbert said he’d approve permits and projects like the Keystone Pipeline that would lower energy prices.

“This would make everything cheaper and increase the amount of disposable income, something that would spur economic activity — a rising tide lifts all boats,” he said, echoing Reagan’s trickle-down theory.

Another way to encourage job creation, he said, would be to facilitate more economic activity with Canada through increased trade.

Gilbert said the country’s fiscal policies, namely the high levels of corporate tax, discourage investment and he would advocate for strong incentives to bring investment back to American shores by eliminating corporate income taxes for companies who decide to move their operations from overseas back to their native turf.

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