George Zornick of The Nation has a great piece on Bernie Sanders’ and Keith Ellison’s proposed bi-cameral bill (“End Polluter Welfare Act of 2012”) to stop $113 billion in subsidies that the oil, gas, and coal companies are now entitled to receive over the next 10 years.
Democrats have often presented bills to end various portions of these subsidies, but a new bicameral bill—introduced by Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Keith Ellison in the House—would wipe out every last subsidy and tax break the industry receives.
The Sanders-Ellison legislation combs the federal register and tax code for fossil fuel industry subsidies, tax breaks, special financing and the like and scraps each one. Among them:
$12 billion in savings from repealing a 2004 law that allows fossil fuel companies to take manufacturing deductions.
$6.8 billion in savings by closing a loophole that allows companies like BP to deduct the expenses of cleaning up their own spills and environmental hazards
$2.4 billion in savings by stopping fossil fuel companies from investing through Master Limited Partnerships, which is an avenue not available to clean energy companies
$14 billion in savings by eliminating the intangible drilling deduction, which provides capital to fossil fuel companies for drilling projects
Polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans favor junking these subsidies, but of course it’s not that simple. The fossil fuel industry is extremely powerful in Washington and is on track to give the current Congress more money than ever before.
Bill McKibben, of 350.org, was also in attendance and had this comment:
“One of the most important things we can do to grapple with our energy and our climate problems is to end the craziness of sending taxpayer money off to the richest industries on earth.”
Yep. I need to call my Senators and Congressman about this.