Oct. 3, 2017 – A new report out today by Oil Change International reveals that U.S. taxpayers continue to foot the bill for more than $20 billion in fossil fuel subsidies each year. These subsidies amount to billions of dollars wasted to prop up an industry responsible for a climate crisis that has contributed to lives lost and hundreds of billions in damages this hurricane season alone.
The report, entitled “Dirty Energy Dominance: Dependent on Denial,” lays out a comprehensive analysis of federal and state subsidies supporting the production of oil, gas, and coal. The analysis highlights some $14.7 billion in annual federal subsidies and $5.8 billion in yearly state-level incentives. As the tax plan just released by Trump and the Republican Party lays bare, protecting American families is not as important to the current leadership in Washington as handing out tax breaks to their corporate cronies.
“For members of Congress who consider themselves climate champions, eliminating the subsidies that drive fossil fuel expansion and climate pollution is a critical starting point. Every taxpayer dollar wasted subsidizing this industry takes us further from a stable climate and threatens our families with disasters made worse by climate change,” said Janet Redman, U.S. Policy Director of Oil Change International and principal author of the report. “No tax plan that leaves in place a 20 billion-dollar transfer of wealth from American taxpayers to one of the country’s most profitable and polluting industries can be considered credible.”
The new report outlines tax incentives, credits, low royalty rates, and other government measures benefiting oil, gas, and coal companies. Key findings include:
Fossil fuel subsidies have been defended by a Congress influenced by $350 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures by the fossil fuel industry – which equates to a 8,200% return on investment.
The cost of annual federal fossil fuel production subsidies is equivalent to the projected 2018 budget cuts from Trump’s proposals to slash 10 public programs and services.
Government giveaways in the form of permanent tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry – one of which is over a century old – are seven times larger than those to the renewable energy sector.
“While the rest of the world moves toward a renewable energy future, dirty energy defenders in the Trump administration are using our taxpayer dollars to promote dangerous new fossil fuel development. Until we separate oil and state, the dirty energy money cycle of fossil fuel contributions going into Congress and oil, gas, and coal subsidies coming out will stymie our chances at revolutionizing the energy sector and staving off worsening climate disasters,” added Redman.
The report presents a number of key recommendations, including an immediate end to all tax breaks supporting fossil fuel exploration and production, halting efforts to extend and expand tax credits for unconventional fossil fuel production technologies, and rejecting campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry.
The full report “Dirty Energy Dominance: Dependent on Denial” can be found at: http://priceofoil.org/2017/10/