Public subsidies for private endeavour are a commitment to one policy or another. We subsidise the wind energy sector; we subsidise the Irish language; we subsidise farming though in that sector we pay for good behaviour rather than sanction bad behaviour - the norm in virtually every other area of society.
The Central Statistics Office reports that using subsidies to lower prices on environmentally destructive fossil fuels cost the exchequer €2.4bn in 2018, or 71% more than at the start of the century. The idea of a cheap fuel policy is, it seems, as disingenuous as a cheap food policy. Each shuffling of the deck lives and breaths on one subsidy or another. We may not pay over the counter but we still pay one way or another.
It will be very difficult to break this cycle but as climate collapse accelerates the justification around subsidising carbon fuels is no longer sustainable.