Bipartisan Policy Center

September 4, 2012 - Paul Bledsoe, Senior Advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center, at Washington Post Live's Energy & the Election breakfast forum at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Casey Cunningham)

Every form of energy has enjoyed subsidies at some point, especially in its early development phase. If you look at railroads, if you look at coal, if you look at oil, if you look at transportation, that’s the history of the United States. No energy source was developed without some subsidies. That being said, some subsidies are better than others.

On the question of innovation, the Bipartisan Policy Center is working with Bill Gates, Jeff Immelt and seven other CEOs in the American Energy Innovation Council. That group has put out two reports in the last two years. They’ve recommended a tripling of U.S. investment in basic energy R&D. We’re not talking about commercialization here. We’re talking about basic research. Their view is that the very big breakthroughs in energy are going begging.