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  • Sunday, September 20, 2009


    U.S. Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Twice That of Renewables
    Tina Seeley, September 18, 2009 (Bloomberg News)

    "Fossil fuels including oil, natural gas and coal received more than twice the level of subsidies that renewable energy sources got from the U.S. government between 2002 and 2008…The subsidies, in the form of government spending and tax breaks, amounted to $72.5 billion for fossil fuels and $29 billion for renewables, according to [Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008 from from the Environmental Law Institute]…

    "President Barack Obama has called for the U.S. to reduce its oil dependence, by promoting efficiency measures and investing in alternative energy supplies. The $787 billion stimulus package signed into law in February included more than $60 billion for reducing energy use and supporting renewable programs."

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    "The U.S. House approved legislation in June that would cap greenhouse-gas emissions and require that a portion of the nation’s electricity come from renewable sources. A Senate panel has also approved a renewable power requirement. The full Senate has yet to take up climate change legislation or the renewable energy measure.

    "The largest of the subsidies for fossil fuels in the report was a tax credit oil and natural gas companies can claim for paying royalties to other governments. The institute’s report finds that credit totaled $15.3 billion over the time period…"

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    "Also included in calculation of subsidies are the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an emergency oil stockpile in the event of supply disruptions, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps certain consumers pay for heating and cooling costs.

    "About half of the government’s subsidies for renewables go to corn-based ethanol…The largest of the renewable subsidies was for blending ethanol with gasoline, a credit that the institute calculated at $11.6 billion during the seven years…"


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