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A new resource for fighting dirty energy giveaways

Posted Feb. 9, 2012 / Posted by: Kurt Walters

There’s a lot of uncertainty around exactly how much taxpayer money the government gives out to Big Oil, Big Coal and the rest of the dirty energy industry each year in subsidies. But we know one thing for sure: it’s a lot. A new crowdsourced project called the Energy Tax Breaks Wiki promises to help identify the sections of the tax code containing these outrageous fossil fuels subsidies.

Friends of the Earth is excited about this new resource and we encourage you to check out our Green Scissors 2011 report for a great starting place to learn about these kinds of giveaways. The report identifies billions of dollars in subsidies for the fossil fuels industry and presents them in a reader-friendly format that can give you context for the technical information in the Energy Tax Breaks Wiki. Friends of the Earth has led the Green Scissors Campaign since 1994 and cutting these wasteful giveaways to the fossil fuels industry has long been a priority of our Economics for the Earth project and part of our Earth Budget.

Dirty energy companies that continue to enjoy record-breaking profits do not need cushy corporate welfare. With many people concerned about the national debt, helping the environment by reducing government spending just makes sense. However, it’s never that easy when you’re dealing with connected special interests like the fossil fuels lobby, which continues to pour millions of dollars in campaign contributions into Congress in return for preferential treatment. Ultimately, the industry’s big money and lobbying will only be defeated by ordinary people joining together to demand a better way. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) showed leadership we can rally around when he pledged to introduce bold legislation that will end oil and gas subsidies and redirect the funding to create 10 million solar roofs across America.

Friends of the Earth has already identified additional subsidies that we hope to include in our Green Scissors 2012 report, including a recently reported subsidy for tar sands oil. We are hopeful that the Energy Tax Breaks Wiki will bring even more oil and gas subsidies to light.

The Energy Tax Breaks Wiki is a joint project of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law and the Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

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