The Real Story
Rhetoric vs. Reality #2: Energy Subsidies
Rhetoric: Renewable energy is subsidized at higher rates than fossil fuels.
The facts are:
Congress has already permanently raised taxes to subsidize fossil fuels for more than 90 years (Congressional Research Service)
Congress plans to add another $30 billion of taxpayer money to further subsidize oil, gas and coal over the next few years.
Examining the issue under the Bush Administration, the Government Accountability Office concluded that fossil fuels continue to receive nearly 5 times the tax incentives as renewable energy. (GAO, 2007)
On top of direct subsidies, fossil fuels cost Americans $120 billion annually in health damages, according to a National Academy of Sciences report commissioned by the Bush Administration. (NAS, 2009)
Such strong policy support for fossil fuels during the last century succeeded in its goal: it helped create an abundance of affordable domestic energy, powering strong economic growth. It also created an addiction to fossil fuels. Rising demand and volatile prices have since created a need for more diverse energy supply.
American taxpayers have already paid well over $500 billion to fossil fuels industries, causing the nation to become over-reliant on too few energy sources that damage both the environment and the health of Americans, imposing even greater healthcare and economic costs on every one of us.
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