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Subsidizing Earth's Demise: US Taxpayers Forced to Prop Up Dirty Energy Industry


Subsidizing Earth's Demise: US Taxpayers Forced to Prop Up Dirty Energy Industry

New reports reveal that without billions of dollars in subsidies, American gas, oil, and coal companies would crash and burn

system change not climate change sign


This is capitalism. Tax payer support for wealthy corporations of all kinds since they are crucial for our survival, according to them and their lackey Congress, while we can literally die from lack of health care, needless wars, terrible infrastructure, environmental destruction and needed services of all kinds because to help people is socialism. To reduce this to a binary choice - we can be ruled by government of and by the people or by corporate interests. Right now they rule and may well be impossible to dislodge.


A recent analysis found that damage from extreme weather intensified by climate change and the health impacts from using gas, oil, and coal have cost the U.S. economy an annual average of $240 in past decade. Between now and 2028, that figure is expected to rise to $360 annually—more than half of the economy’s growth—and that doesn’t even account for the cost of industry subsidies.

Jessica Corbett - you probably want to edit that.


And all these a$$hole politicians and corporate oligarchs bitch and moan about entitlements and socialism for the average citizen. Meanwhile they are only too happy to receive such entitlements and socialism for themselves.


The US government subsidizes the wealthy fossil fuel corporations that don’t need it and are killing off life on the planet, yet provides zero or tiny amounts of funds to subsidize one of the solutions to global warming. Another example of how the US is f***ed up. Well past time for a big change.


Thanks MM, I suspect there is a missing Billion in both references…apparently the author/proof-reader was and remains asleep at the switch…like following a driver with turn signal on for miles…infuriating.


“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,” Redman added". Mr. Redman in all of your analysis did you perhaps happen to wonder how exactly renewable energy replaces crude oil? See in the USA renewable energy is solely responsible for the production of electricity generation, but oil production only accounts for .6% of electrical generation as of 2016. Now how is that possible? Well, because crude oil is primarily used in industries that renewable technologies have zero competitive capital in. We do not use renewables in the transportation industry, or the construction industry, or the textile industry, or chemical processing industry, or the agriculture industry.

The fact is that reports like this are extraordinarily misleading, because they fail to recognize that oil and gas creates products in far more industries than any renewable source. When you compare subsides of crude oil to renewables you are comparing completely different industries to one another. Comparing subsides of chemical processing to electrical generation doesn’t make any sense.

in fact when you actually compare subsides solely within the electrical generation industry, and compare subsidies based on $ spent per KW/h of production you will actually find that sola and wind receive the MOST subsidies!


Also I would much rather see a cost/benefit analysis as opposed to just a cost analysis. Yes Fossil fuels have an externalized cost and yes they have a subsidy cost for the taxpayer, but what is their economic benefit? What is the current benefit for 99% of all vehicles to exist today? What is the current benefit of plastic’s existence? What is the current benefit of all asphalt roads? What is the current benefit of all synthetic clothing today? What is the current benefit of fertilizer’s existence today? What is the current benefit of heating homes today?

Your statement is going to drastically mislead consumers if you only look at the cost of the resource. Lets look at the opportunity cost of using fossil fuels aka the cost of not using fossil fuels. You measure your analysis in the millions, this cost is in the tens of trillions.


No, they’re not forced to. They choose to. In England, former Labour voters in Barrow chose to vote for a Tory because of his pro WMD stance on defiance of Jeremy Corbyn’s anti Trident stance. They did not have to - and the price was their own local hospital, under threat from Tory cuts. They chose WMD over the NHS. Voters consistently vote for their wallets and they are persuaded that dirty energy keeps them fuller than green energy. So they vote for parties that promote it - when in fact they have a choice. In the UK and US there is another choice - the Green Party in the US and now, thanks to Mr Corbyn, the Green and Labour parties in the UK. Will they vote for them? I can only hope.


With an 8280% return on investment in the last decade no CEO could explain to the BODs how he said " no " to budgeting for large campaign and lobbyist contributions. They’d drop him down an old well before he could say " climate change " if he didn’t. Pay to play makes The Uniparty very happy.
This is just an inside look at an old, decrepit inside game. The MSM goes along, reducing the 4th Estate to the 1/4th Estate, and the Congress critters get their slush fund and retirement " golden parachute ", of sorts. A job as a consultant and deal-maker with a corner office, and a seven figure salary, to boot. What statesman!!!:wink::wink:
It would at least be nice to know, that they’re grandchildren will be baked like X-mas cookies in 40 years, or so. All that slick graft and money laundering, and your spawn die from the lack of the basics like food, shelter and drinking water. Oh, it’s all so unfair and cruel. Poor babies!:cry::grinning:


Last person with an operating air conditioner wins!


There will be no values placed before corporate profits, not humane, social or environmental.


Gee, that would be swell, if only the external costs (primarily health and environmental) were added the price of fossil fuels. Just eliminating subsidies doesn’t do the trick. As long as the consequential costs of fossil fuels are not reflected in their price, then clean energy seems to be “expensive” – although even without reflecting externalities, fossil fuels are having a hard time competing with clean energy, even when it isn’t subsidized.

Besides, free market as a religion or belief system, as you seem to hold it, is no better than theological frameworks – it’s all fantasy.

In addition, because markets are oriented toward selfish motives (c.f. your reference to “spending their own money”) they fail to capture the common good and therefore are insufficient as tools to solve problems like climate change.

Take your market theism somewhere else – to hell maybe – because it’s not a useful construct in this context. Either that, or lay of the AEI kool-aid, it’s clouding your perceptions of reality.


Common sense is clear on this issue.

Eliminate all subsidies for every purpose no matter how mom and apple pie it sounds.


To put it simply, industrial capitalism and the military to support the exploitation and plunder WILL kill the human species if a halt isn’t enacted as soon as possible. There isn’t an engineered solution nor any other pipedream that will save humans and most of the other higher lifeforms we share Earth’s bounty with. They will all go down the memory holes of geologic history without major changes.The capitalist model should nave been put out to pasture after WW II with a transition to a peaceful sustainable system with major emphasis on population control. It was taught in public schools in the late 60’s early 70’s with major emphasis on ecology and greenhouse gasses. What happened? Now with humanity’s back against the wall there is still little, or in the case of the US, no or even regressive action on the growing calamity we are all now living in. Just as the case of weaponry control in the micro realm so goes the macro realm of inaction. The Paris accords were woefully inadequate but at least they were something and now? Nothing, nada, total deniability similar to the collective amnesia on the 'Nam war and all the atrocities committed in the name of…well,… I’m still not sure. Time’s short and I weep for the children that are born into the mess the industrialists have left in the name of f–king profit. Well I don’t have children to have explain this poisoned toxic inferno they’re born into and the currant crop of feckless ball less politicians won’t be alive to account for their crimes and perhaps there won’t be anyone at all to atone, but I hope there is for their sake.


Isn’t this something. The corollary between carbon fuel and drug abuse gets clearer and clearer. Now we have to subsidize the pusher or he will retire. Do not rebuild Puerto Rico’s infrastructure for carbon based fuel. Replace the cars with electric ones and give an incredible shot in the arm to the auto makers. This will create the demand and infrastructure for the next generation.


In all fairness don’t you think the new kid on the block deserves the same chance the fossil fuel industries have enjoined for most of the last century? How long do you want to support this dying horse?


Then lets include all costs for all industries. Just as fossil fuels should add environmental costs, so should renewables in manufacturing and intermittent forms such as solar and wind should also include storage costs for batteries as well.


Sure that “new kid on the block” should enjoy the same chance by creating products that are as effective as fossil fuels. Unfortunately solar and wind are LESS efficient, produce LESS energy per unit, and are only used in one singular industry compared to multiple industries by fossil fuels.

We are not moving off of fossil fuels, because solar and wind are better sources from an engineering perspective. Instead we at moving off of them because we are valuing environmental degradation to a somewhat degree.


Fair enough, but not all “hours” of the day are equal, and storage isn’t always needed or “valuable”. In addition, easy cheap and easily adaptable changes in consumption patterns can make the need for storage unnecessary or drastically reduce the need. It’s a complex system with lots of moving parts.

People tend to think of the problem only as a supply issue, but, in fact, the problem is only a balancing of supply and demand problem. Often, reducing demand is a more economical solution than building more supply (in your case storage), when reducing demand is a more economical solution. Reduced demand is equivalent to increased supply. So don’t get caught in the trap of thinking we only need to always meet an unbounded demand as our only solution.

Hawaii, not withstanding its recalcitrant utilities, has a made a lot of headway towards increased renewables as a displacement of its fossil fuel power supply and is on course to eliminate it completely. Other island nations have already reached 100% renewable energy or are close.

It’s definitely a do-able thing. Those who say otherwise don’t know that they are talking about.