Last update : 28.10.2010
Estimating U.S. Government subsidies to energy sources: 2002-2008
Environmental Law Institute
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The largest U.S subsidies to fossil fuels are attributed to tax breaks that aid foreign oil production, according to research to be released on Friday by the Environmental Law Institute in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The study, which reviewed fossil fuel and energy subsidies for Fiscal Years 2002-2008, reveals that the lion’s share of energy subsidies supported energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases. The research demonstrates that the federal government provided substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables. Fossil fuels benefited from approximately $72 billion over the seven-year period, while subsidies for renewable fuels totaled only $29 billion. More than half the subsidies for renewables — $16.8 billion — are attributable to corn-based ethanol, the climate effects of which are hotly disputed. Of the fossil fuel subsidies, $70.2 billion went to traditional sources — such as coal and oil — and $2.3 billion went to carbon capture and storage, which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Thus, energy subsidies highly favored energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases over sources that would decrease our climate footprint.
Added on 21 September 2009
United States & Canada
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