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The Path to Progress: Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

The Path to Progress: Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Keith Ellison launched a new piece of legislation that would repeal $113 billion of tax-breaks, handouts and subsidies for the fossil fuel industry over the next ten years.

Currently, the fossil fuel industry is generously subsidized despite the fact that it’s already the most profitable business on earth! (During the first quarter of 2012, the Big Five oil companies earned a combined $33.5 billion, or $368 million per day.) It’s as if the industry is being awarded a bonus for wrecking the environment. Fossil fuels are subsidized at nearly six times the rate of renewable energy. From 2002 to 2008, the US government gave the mature fossil fuel industry over $72 billion in subsidies, while investments in the emerging renewable industry totaled $12.2 billion.

We’ll never get to renewable energy if we keep offering gobs of cash to oil, coal and gas companies to continue business as usual. The End Polluter Welfare Act would strip away these obscene subsidies.

While there have been previous legislative attempts to remove some fossil-fuel subsidies, this bill is the most comprehensive and would end all tax breaks, loopholes and federal research support for fossil fuels.

As you can imagine, the fossil fuel industry is fighting back hard, so please join Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense and 350.org, which has launched a signature drive to pressure congressional representatives, in offering public support for the End Polluter Welfare Act.

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