What Does $8 Billion in Oil Subsidies Buy?
The fiscal cliff is fast approaching — and there’s a relatively simple way for Congress to raise some needed revenues, help the environment and satisfy taxpayers: Ending oil subsidies will help pay down the deficit by making oil companies pay their fair share.
The President has already identified $4 billion in oil subsidies that should be eliminated, but there’s at least an additional $4 billion worth that Congress should also get rid of. This is hardly the time to be throwing taxpayer money at wealthy companies that undermine the environment.
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For more information on clean vs. dirty energy please see NRDC Executive Direcor Peter Lehner’s views here.
- Almost $8 billion in annual oil subsidies: average cost of multiple tax provisions overwhelmingly benefitting the oil and gas industry as estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congressional Research Service and American Petroleum Institute. See our full fact sheet for a full description of these programs including sources.
- $100 per taxpayer: $7.82 billion divided by 2009 taxable returns filed according to IRS Publication, "Selected Income and Tax Items,” 2011.
- $515 million annual property damage from oil and gas: average total damage 2007-2011 as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- $50 billion annual health costs: Economic costs of air pollution from petroleum emissions according to the National Academy of Sciences, Hidden Costs of Energy: The Unpriced Costs of Energy Production and Use, 2010.
- 11,000 jobs lost at big 5 oil companies: House Committee on Natural Resources Democratic Staff, Profits and Pink Slips: How Big Oil and Gas Companies Are Not Creating U.S. Jobs or Paying Their Fair Share, Sept 2011.
- $90 billion big 5 oil company profits as of September 2012: Weiss, Daniel J. and Jackie Weidman, How Big Oil Spent Part Of Its $90 Billion In Profits So Far In 2012, Think Progress, 2012.