David Turnbull, July 9, 2014
Fossil fuel subsidies have increased by 45% under “All of the Above” energy policy
A new report released today by Oil Change International exposes over $21 billion in fossil fuel production subsidies annually in the U.S. at the federal and state levels.
The report, entitled “Cashing in on All of the Above: U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Subsidies under Obama,” outlines the wide array of subsidies going to the industry amidst a deepening climate crisis being spurred by continued fossil fuel extraction and production. In total, the report catalogs over $37 billion in U.S. federal and state support for the fossil fuel industry in 2013.
The report focuses on exploration and production subsidies because these subsidies are tied to the All of the Above energy policy in the U.S., and because they are completely incompatible with climate science that clearly shows that most existing fossil fuel reserves need to be left underground.
Much of the increase in the value of fossil fuel production subsidies in the U.S. can be attributed to the increase in oil and gas production in recent years, the report finds. In particular, federal fossil fuel production and exploration subsidies in the US have grown in value by 45 percent since President Obama took office in 2009.
“While scientists implore world leaders to leave fossil fuels in the ground to avoid a climate catastrophe, our analysis has found that billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are going to digging ourselves a bigger climate hole every year,“ said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. “Rather than putting down the shovel, our government is using even more taxpayer dollars to buy a backhoe.”
Shakuntala Makhijani, the report’s author and a Researcher at Oil Change International, added, “The science is clear that at least two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate impacts – it is time for the U.S. government to show leadership and immediately end the massive subsidies that encourage their production.”
While the Obama administration has made some attempts to reduce subsidies under its watch, the U.S. Congress, bankrolled by ever-growing campaign contributions from the industry, has completely stymied these efforts. In 2011-12, the industry spent $329 million in campaign finance contributions and received $33 billion in federal subsidies over that same period, marking a 10,000 percent return on investment for the industry.
“The All of the Above energy strategy is not only climate denial – it’s climate denial that is funded with more than $20 billion in taxpayer support each year.” said Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International. “Until our representatives in Washington and around the country find the courage necessary to put people’s interests ahead of rich polluters, this theft of our tax dollars is likely to continue. The next step for saving the climate should be clear: Stop Funding Fossils.”
The report can be found here: http://bit.ly/2014FFSubsidies
Along with the release of the report, Oil Change International has unveiled a new online hub of resources regarding fossil fuel subsidies on the state, national and international levels. The hub can be found at: http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/