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Sanders and Ellison champion elimination of fossil fuel subsidies.

Posted May. 10, 2012 / Posted by: Ben Schreiber

Today Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act, legislation that goes further than any previous bill to unwind the web of government subsidies for the fossil fuels industry. If enacted the bill would save taxpayers over $10 billion a year.

There has been a lot of momentum behind ending subsidies for the fossil fuels.  For example, shortly after taking office President Obama joined the other G20- leaders at the Pittsburgh summit in pledging to “rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.” The President’s most recent budget proposal eliminates fossil fuel industry subsidies worth more than $40 billion over the next ten years, including many of the subsidies that are in the Sanders and Ellison bill.  

In Congress Senator Menendez (D-N.J.) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) have led the charge to end these wasteful giveaways to polluting corporations. Their efforts, and others, have really laid the foundation and Sanders and Ellison have built off by including cuts that have never been introduced before.

The cost of many of the provisions in the bill have yet to be analyzed, so it is impossible to know exactly how much money is flowing from taxpayers to fossil fuel corporations through the subsidies this bill seeks to eliminate.  Conservatively, we estimate that taxpayers would save about $110 billion over the next ten years if the bill were passed.

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