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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 21, 2019, 12:09:16 pm »

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Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.

US Subsidizes Fossil Fuels To The Tune Of $4.6, $27.4, Or $649 Billion Annually, Depending On Source 

August 20th, 2019 by Michael Barnard

There are frequently complaints bandied about by the usual suspects about the horrendous subsidies for renewable energy, along with claims that renewables would die without them. It’s worth looking at the state of energy subsidies in the US in that context.

There are a set of increasing numbers that are worth considering. Congressional research puts the minimum number at $4.6 billion annually. An NRDC G7 annual analysis puts the number at $27.4 billion annually. An IMF full accounting including negative externalities related to health and global warming puts it at $649 billion annually.

Per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US subsidizes fossil fuels to the tune of $649 billion annually, above the non-war defense budget (wars get special funding).

The IMF found that direct and indirect subsidies for coal, oil and gas in the U.S. reached $649 billion in 2015. Pentagon spending that same year was $599 billion.

The study defines “subsidy” very broadly, as many economists do. It accounts for the “differences between actual consumer fuel prices and how much consumers would pay if prices fully reflected supply costs plus the taxes needed to reflect environmental costs” and other damage, including premature deaths from air pollution.

The IMF, by the way, is an international organization of 189 countries including the US, founded in 1945 with the primary purpose of ensuring the stability of the international monetary system — the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. It’s a very serious global organization.

Direct fiscal support for fossil fuel extraction and production in the US comes in a few forms. There are numerous permanent tax code funding credits available for fossil fuel exploration and extraction, adding up to $4.6 billion annually, per a 2019 Congressional Research report on energy subsidies. That report is the smallest estimate of fossil fuel subsidies, yet historically they indicate that total fossil fuel subsidies have exceeded renewables subsidies since 1978 and in 1982 exceeded the highest annual subsidies for renewables in any year.

Graph of historical and projected energy subsidies 1978-2022
Graph courtesy of US Congressional Research Service

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Oil Change International (OCI), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) publish an annual scorecard of fossil fuel subsidies in the G7 countries. They put the US total number higher, at $27.4 billion. All G7 countries pledged to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies well over a decade ago, but the worst performer in terms of removing them has been the USA.

The United States ranked last on progress in removing fossil fuel subsidies, due to the massive amount of subsidies for fossil fuel exploration and production, as well as for backtracking on previous pledges to end support to fossil fuels.

And using the G7 measures of fiscal incentives for energy, it’s clear that the US has provided vastly more support to fossil fuels than it has to renewables.

Of course, none of these studies tries to calculate the geopolitical costs of US military action related to defending oil supplies. That’s a thornier problem, but it’s clear that the US military has spent a lot of its global budget specifically in regions which provided the US with a lot of fossil fuels for politically strategic reasons which are now going away.

The United States, unlike many countries, doesn’t have a direct consumption subsidy for fossil fuels, which is what some defenders of the industry use as the basis of their false claim that there are no subsidies. The International Energy Agency tracks direct consumption subsidies in material it publishes annually, and the United States doesn’t show up in that list. Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China lead the pack in terms of those subsidies, but China is tracking well in terms of reducing subsidies across the energy space, including on fossil fuels.

It’s worth comparing and contrasting this to the subsidies that wind and solar energy get in the USA. Unlike fossil fuels, these subsidies aren’t in the permanent tax code but in a temporary code category.

The Production Tax Credit for wind energy has been an on and off credit per kWh for electricity generated from wind farms. In late 2015, it was extended through 2020 starting at $21 per MWh for the first ten years of production with a 20% reduction for new wind farms each year, ending in 2019. That means that a wind farm built in 2019 would get about $4 per MWh for the next decade, but one built in 2020 will get no tax credits.

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar had a different trajectory. It was extended through 2022 and offered 30% tax credits for home, commercial, and utility projects. In 2022, that will be reduced to 10% for commercial solar and utility projects only, with no tax credits for home projects. That’s obviously reduced substantially in a calculated stepdown as well.

That’s right. In 2022, new wind energy will get zero financial assistance of any kind and new solar will get very little, while fossil fuels will continue to get $4.6 billion annually in the best possible accounting, $27.4 billion in a reasonable accounting and $649 billion in a full accounting including negative externalities.

Chart showing impacts of PTC and ITC scenarios on renewable energy
Chart courtesy US EIA

As the EIA chart on the impacts of different scenarios for the PTC and ITC shows, there are substantial upsides for the US grid to extending the PTC and ITC, just as there are substantial upsides for elimination of fossil fuels subsidies.

It’s worth noting that the deal that extended the PTC and ITC came about because Congressional deal makers gave (mostly) Republicans a very specific, fossil fuel win. The deal removed the US restriction on exporting crude oil, a policy which was put in place around the OPEC Oil Crisis for energy security reasons. So the ITC and PTC temporary extensions came with the USA being able to ship more fossil fuels of different types to other countries, permanently.

And it’s also worth noting that nuclear generation also has permanent tax code breaks worth $1.6 billion annually as well. That excludes the insurance liability cap on nuclear plants which the United States taxpayer is on the hook for in the case of a Fukushima- or Chernobyl-scale incident. Anything over $13 billion is the responsibility of the US government, hence taxpayers. Since Fukushima’s total economic costs are likely to be closer to a trillion USD than not if everything is counted in, $13 billion doesn’t look like a lot.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:19:34 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Check out how much Corporate Welfare we-the-people are coerced to hand out to the 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon Fuels 😈 "Industry" Crooks and Liars.

Robert Reich: How Corporate Welfare
 Hurts YOU

Robert Reich 👍👍👍

Published on Jul 16, 2019

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains the policies that line the pockets of corporations while hurting ordinary Americans.
Watch More: The Truth of Privatization ►►

Category News & Politics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 17, 2017, 03:13:27 pm »


Scott Pruitt    says subsidies give renewables an unfair edge, and here’s why he’s a monumental hypocrite

Mom says I’m good at Photoshop, ok?  ;D Image credits me / ZMEScience, free to use with attribution.

In a pioneering display of cognitive dissonance, EPA chief Scott Pruitt said on Monday that he would to do away with subsidies for renewable energy and let them “stand on their own and compete against” other sources of energy, such as fossil the latter being heavily subsidized, and has been so for decades. 

Another week, another Pruittism This Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator said that he believes federal tax credits for wind and solar power should be eliminated in the interest of fair play on the energy market.

I would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar,” he told attendees at a Kentucky Farm Bureau event.

“I’d let them stand on their own and compete  ;) against coal and natural gas and other sources, and let utilities make real-time market decisions on those types of things as opposed to being propped up by tax incentives and other types of credits that occur, both in the federal level and state level,” he further explained.

Now, I like hypocrisy just as much as the next guy (spoiler alert: I don’t ) but Mr. Pruitt definitely went to previously un-dredged lows with that announcement. To see why, let’s take a look at what subsidies are and how they play out across the energy sector.

Here’s the too long; didn’t read version, presented by David Hochschild, a commissioner with the California Energy Commission, at the Energy Productivity Summer Study in Sydney in February 2016. Image via CleanTechnica.

Subsidy, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary

A grant or gift of money: such as:
a) a sum of money formerly granted by the British Parliament to the crown and raised by special taxation
b) money granted by one state to another
c) a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public.

We’re interested in the latter meaning of the word. Let’s take a look at the subsidies Mr. Pruitt would do away with:

1.Wind power currently enjoys a tax credit of about 2.3 cents per kWh produced, and the measure starts phasing out this year and will expire completely in 2020.
2.Solar energy investments get tax credits equal to 30% of their sum to encourage companies to invest in the sector. These credits will expire completely by 2022.

These incentives enjoy wide support among environmentalists and Democrats, while direct competitors of renewable in the energy market obviously oppose them, as do some Republicans. They’ve been touted again and again as the sole reason why renewable energy has seen such rapid growth in recent years, and the fossil fuel industry has been endlessly complaining they’re an unfair advantage.

Now let’s take a look at the subsidies oil, gas, and coal receive, as quantified by researchers at Oil Change International (full report at the bottom of the article). The sums in brackets are the estimated costs per year of these subsidies. Find a comfy seat, ’cause this is going to take a while.

The monetary black hole that is fossil fuel subsidies

Exploration and production related:

1.Intangible drilling oil & gas deduction ($2.3 billion): Independent producers can fully deduct costs that aren’t directly related to the final operation of wells (such as labor, surveying, ground clearing, including development costs). Integrated companies can deduct 70% up front and the rest of 30% over five years.
2.Excess of percentage over cost depletion ($1.5 billion): Independent fossil fuel producers can deduct a percentage of their gross income from production, reflecting reservoir depreciation.

Non-production related:

1.Master Limited Partnerships tax exemption ($1.6 billion): A special corporate form that is exempt from corporate income taxes and publicly-traded on stock markets, primarily available to natural resource firms, the majority of which are fossil fuel companies.
2.Last-in, first-out (LIFO) accounting ($1.7 billion): Allows oil companies to assume for accounting purposes that they sell the inventory most recently acquired or manufactured first. When inventory is experiencing increasing prices, LIFO assigns the most recent prices to cost of goods sold and oldest prices to remaining inventory, hence resulting in the highest amount of cost of goods sold and lowest taxable income for the company. It gets even better! LIFO-like measures are prohibited under international financial reporting standards.

Fire-sale on federal lands:

Author’s note: these methods hand over energy resources from public lands and federally-controlled waters to the fossil fuel industry at extremely low relative prices.

1.Lost royalties from onshore and offshore drilling ($1.2 billion): outdated royalty exemptions, rate setting, and procedures for assessing oil and gas production on federal lands shortchange taxpayers by more than a billion dollars each year. If the federal government were to charge a 20% royalty rate for onshore drilling, the lowest rate charged by the state of Texas, taxpayers would benefit from an additional $3 billion in revenues.
2.Low-cost leasing of coal-production in the Powder River Basin ($963 million): allows coal companies to lease federal land at low costs in the Powder River Basin (PRB), a mostly federally-owned coal-producing region in Wyoming and Montana that accounts for 40 percent of U.S. coal production (and 85 percent of coal production from federal lands). By exempting from ‘major coal producing region’ status, the federal government did away with requirements to plan and monitor coal production according to a systematic management process, making for significantly lenient lease rates in the PRB.

From now on I’ll just give a few examples in each category, and I’ll keep them short because most of you are probably dozing off by now.

Coal Bailouts:

Author’s note: as coal companies become insolvent, taxpayer dollars cover their obligations to communities and workers.
1.Inadequate industry fees recouped to cover the Abandoned Mine Land Grant Fund ($400 million).
2.Inadequate industry support to cover worker health impacts ($330 million).

Pollution subsidies:

1.Deduction for oil spill penalty costs ($334 million).
2.Tar sands exemption from payments into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund ($47 million).

Subsidies that lock in fossil fuel dependence:

1.Enhanced oil recovery credit ($235 million in 2017, could cost $8.8 billion over the next decade according to The Office of Management and Budget).
2.CO2 sequestration credit ($95 million).

Gets hard to follow, so here it is in chart form for 2016:

Add everything up and you get $14.7 billion in federal subsidies and $5.8 billion in state-level incentives, for a total of $20.5 billion annually in corporate welfare. One-fifth of that goes to coal, the rest to oil and gas. Another factor at play here is continuity and length of these subsidizing schemes.

Another graph presented by Hochschild in Sydney, showing the short-term nature of the subsidies for renewable energy.

“There is a myth around subsidies, but there is no such thing as an unsubsidised unit of energy,” Hochschild told RenewEconomy after his presentation, and CleanTechnica later picking up on the quote here. “The fossil fuel industry hates to talk about that,” he added.

He explained that oil depletion allowances have been in place since 1926 and would continue, despite the fact that oil is “one of the most profitable industries in the world.” Insurance costs for nuclear plants, “without which there would be no nuclear plants,” are also a subsidy, CleanTechnica goes on to write. Drilling or fracking, which have been made exempt from compliance with the safe drinking water act, also serve as a subsidy by allowing natural gas companies to cut costs.

US wind and solar industries were stifled with repeated changes to their federal support mechanisms. The tax credits have been changed seven times in a decade, according to Hochschild.

“How can you plan a wind turbine factory or project in those types of conditions?” he asked.

A sliver of a crumb

Everything I’ve listed above is only part of the direct subsidies fossil fuel companies receive in the US, because the OCI only looked at direct production subsidies. OCI notes that the estimates of state-level subsidies are probably low, since many states don’t report the costs of tax expenditures (i.e., tax breaks and credits to industry), so data is difficult to come by.

Add to the above roughly $14.5 billion in consumption subsidies (things like Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps residents pay for heating bills,) $2.1 billion in subsidies for overseas fossil fuel projects, and probably the single greatest offender, indirect subsidies. This latter category involves things like the money the US military spends to protect oil shipping routes, or the unpaid costs of health and climate impacts from burning fossil fuels, which are naturally really hard to quantify precisely but navigate in the region of hundreds of billions of dollars.

It’s not happening in the US alone. According to the International Energy Agency, global subsidies for fossil fuels outweigh those for renewable energy more than 10-fold — CleanTechnica estimates it’s more than 13-fold if you don’t count biofuels. Vox reported that the International Monetary Fund estimates the world spends $500 billion in direct subsidies for fossil energy, a figure that increases to about $5.3 trillion a year after indirect spending (including environmental damages) are factored in.

But only Mr. Pruitt has the audacity to claim subsidies unfairly favor renewables, and they should be scrapped. It’s both hilarious and infuriating when the chief of the EPA says that, considering that the US’ subsidy policy on renewables is “hey we’ll help cover a bit of the cost of each unit of energy a wind turbine produces, and any company that invests in building solar energy will get just shy of 1/3 of that investment as a tax reduction. For the next 3-5 years.” Then it turns around and shells some $30 billion to fossil fuel companies every year.

Why? Well, as OCI concludes:

“In the 2015-2016 election cycle, oil, gas, and coal companies spent $354 million in campaign contributions and lobbying and received $29.4 billion in federal subsidies in total over those same years — an 8,200% return on investment.”

Every penny of that is paid from your pocket. Every year, your taxes pay for a company’s search for new deposits and the means to exploit them, its tax breaks, covers accounting artifices that are banned under international financing standards, forfeiture of royalties, dirt-cheap leasing, and finally they cover the costs when that company pollutes your air and water or simply fracks up big time and spills something or goes insolvent. Every year, some starting as far back as the 1900s.

All of it so that a fossil fuel company can keep making money, despite the fact that renewables can take up the job for less spending, fewer health impacts, less wealth concentration. And with 100% less global warming cover-up shenanigans.

So tell me again about how energy companies need to “stand on their own and compete” Pruitt, you brass-necked hypocrite.

OCI’s full report is available here. For a more comprehensive list of the subsidy schemes energy companies enjoy, as well as more details for the ones I’ve listed here, you can use the Green Scissors database.

The Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 14, 2017, 05:02:36 pm »

The U.S. Tax Code — $4.6 Billion In U.S. Oil Company Subsidies    Per Year

October 14th, 2017 by Cynthia Shahan

In a new study of 800 undeveloped U.S. oil fields, researchers found that about half of the fields will never go into production … if oil company tax breaks are taken out of the picture. In related matters, without a shadow of a doubt, renewable energy offers jobs. Renewable energy offers jobs with a future — not temporary part-time work, but jobs that are probably sustainable well on into the future.

Obama was supporting such policies — an end to oil and other fossil fuel subsidies, solar power for low- and moderate-income families that also created jobs, a program to train 25,000 veterans for new solar jobs, and much more. He was pushing for a fresher, more productive future.

What person does not want pure air to breathe, clean water to drink, a future for their children that makes them less likely to get cancer, heart problems, etc.? Yet, we still have oil subsidies — taxpayers covering oil company costs in a variety of ways.

“In a new study Monday in Nature Energy, SEI researchers looked at newly discovered U.S. oil fields that have not yet been put into production — all 800 of them,” Tim McDonnell of The Washington Post reports.

“The researchers found that about half of these undeveloped fields would never go into production, (assuming an oil price of $50 per barrel, close to where it is today) — if oil company tax breaks are taken out of the picture. The study is based on the current range of subsidies and doesn’t account for changes that could result from the new GOP plan.

“But if the range of subsidies offered today remain, those new wells could produce up to 17 billion barrels over the next few decades, SEI found, which in turn would produce around six gigatons of carbon dioxide. To meet the goal set out under the Paris climate agreement to keep warming ‘well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels,’ the United States can emit no more than 30 to 45 gigatons of CO2 between now and 2050.”

A society of sustainable, productive work in clean energy is inspiring. Instead, sacrificing jobs, the economy, and American health and well-being, the current White House wants to go in the wrong direction. It is something akin to the infamous delusion of a young, uneducated queen saying, “Let them eat cake.” That is what the administration sounds like too many days of the week. Fortunately, useful information continues to stream.

This is how you create jobs:

Tax reform is a vitally important issue. It can help fight climate change. McDonnell clearly points out, “Just not the kind of tax reform Trump and Republicans are proposing.”

Going on: “the oil industry is still calling it a win, citing proposals that would make it easier for oil companies to recover their investments in exploration and to shield profits earned from drilling overseas, in addition to lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 percent.”

Can someone please ask Trump on what kind of planet he sees his grandchildren and great-grandchildren living if he continues to ignore clean air initiatives?

Maybe an imploding planet is a metaphor for the president’s state of health.

“The tax blueprint also expands Trump’s reversal of Obama-era climate measures. In 2009, President Barack Obama joined other Group of 20 leaders in a pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies eventually. The GOP tax plan gives little indication of keeping that commitment — and that could have significant implications for U.S. oil production and the climate.”

Backwards, backwards, backwards — into a quicksand of confusion and tragedy for the well-being of the general population. This heartless tax shelter for the profiteers of future pre-existing conditions — and not a few dollars to help hungry children in schools. Ignoring solar job potential while subsidizing some of the richest companies in the world.

McDonnell continues, “Already, the U.S. oil industry benefits from a dozen specialized subsidies adding up to about $4.6 billion per year, according to a 2015 review by the Obama administration. Among other things, the subsidies reduce the costs of labor and equipment involved in drilling — and shield some of the profits earned on the oil itself. Those tax breaks and other subsidies don’t just help the industry a little bit. In many cases, they determine whether it’s even worth drilling in the first place, according to a study earlier this year from the Stockholm Environment Institute, a nonprofit research organization.

Without federal and state subsidies, nearly half of U.S. oil production — about 45 percent — would be unprofitable at current prices, the researchers found. So, unless oil prices go rocketing up, reducing or eliminating those subsidies would likely lead to a significant reduction in oil production over time".

Agelbert NOTE: These God Damned (and I'm not swearing here) Fossil Fuel Polluter WELFARE QUEENS go out of business or most humans die, PERIOD.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 31, 2017, 08:53:09 pm »

The Republican Crocodile Tear "Tax Reform" SCAM to get more SWAG for Rich Corporate Welfare Queens

"Skinny Repeal" Failed  ;D, So Watch Out for "Tax Reform" Next (w/Congressman Keith Ellison)

July 28, 2017

Thom is joined by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN, 5th District, Deputy Director - DNC) to talk about the failure of "Trumpcare" and what tricks republicans will be up to next that we'll need to shut down.

Congressman Ellison and Senator Sanders will counter the Republican attempt to cut more money from badly needed social services by offering a bill that REALLY can cut Government costs a LOT  (but the Repukians will be quiet as DEATH about that OBVIOUSLY excellent TAX REFORM Bill because it CUTS the subsidy SWAG from the fossil fuel "Industry" polluter  WELFARE QUEENS).

Yeah, I know. The Bought and paid fors like Pelosi and the other Blue Dog and **** Devilcrats will not support the Sanders/Ellison Bill either. 

Sorry Grandma. Meals on wheels was just cancelled so that subsidies for our loyal servants, the Fossil Fuel Industry, would not be. Have another banana, Grandma. 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 23, 2017, 11:28:02 am »

The fossil fuel industry is NOT PAYING IT; WE ARE! 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 30, 2017, 08:20:43 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: ALL of the following events are part and  parcel of just ONE aspect of the PREDICTED Catastrophic climate change activity from having TOO MUCH CARBON DIOXIDE in our Atmosphere. There will be a LOT MORE of them. This is just the leading edge. Catastrophic climate Change is HERE NOW. Every COST we incur because of these storms is a HIDDEN SUBSIDY for the fossil Fuel Fascist Polluters. 

Have a nice day.   

Sky split open: Moscow hit by ‘downpour of the century’ (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)   

Published time: 30 Jun, 2017 15:18

Moscow Region has been hit by a powerful storm that brought heavy torrential rains and hail. The capital has not seen such a storm in almost 100 years, according to meteorologists.  :o             

Driving home today (in NY State) I was in the hardest downpour I have ever seen. I was driving uphill on had 6 inches of water on the road. There was rain mixed with sleet and small branches. Two lanes reduced to 5 MPH all with flashers on. Then after about 15 minutes it stopped.

There will be more of these events and they will occur more often. They are called microbursts. Their increasing frequency and duration are part of the predicted Catastrophic climate Change now arriving thanks to the fossil fuel polluter fascists.

We had a couple of them recently in Vermont:

Two Microburst Event on 18 May 2017
1.) Introduction:
On 18 May 2017 scattered strong to locally severe thunderstorms erupted across portions of the Champlain Valley, as well as parts of central and northern Vermont. A warm, moist, and unstable air mass was in place from the Eastern Adirondack Mountains into Vermont with surface temperatures in the mid-80s to lower 90s. The temperature reached 93 degrees in Burlington, VT, which tied the all-time record for warmest maximum temperature for the month of May, along with breaking the daily maximum temperature for the date. This impressive heat helped to fuel the afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.

This severe weather event had three areas of concentrated that included Western Addison County on Potash Bay Road, South Burlington/Williston area, and across the Northeast Kingdom near Barton, VT. The NWS Burlington Office determined from a storm survey the damage which destroyed a camp and knocked down trees and powerlines on Potash Bay Road in the town of Addison, VT was caused by a microburst with estimated wind speeds of 80 to 100 mph. Another microburst occurred in South Burlington causing trees and power lines to come down, along with a measured 58 mph wind gust at Burlington International Airport, before we lost power to the observing equipment. Additional damaging thunderstorm wind gusts blew over a tractor trailer in Barton, VT with areas of trees and powerlines down in parts of the Northeast Kingdom. Figure 1 below shows a plot of storm reports across the North Country on 18 May 2017.
See Appendix A for entire listing of severe weather reports received by NWS BTV.

Read more at link:

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 12, 2017, 11:04:31 pm »

German Government plans to phase out support for fossil fuel heating systems by 2020 

The federal economy ministry (BMWi) plans to phase out support for heating systems that run entirely on fossil fuels by 2020, as part of its new “Energy efficiency and heat from renewable energies” strategy.   

Industry opposition to the plans is inevitable, Dana Heide writes for Handelsblatt.

The government aims to clean up the current parallel, and sometimes muddled” support for energy efficiency measures in buildings, Heide says.

In a press release, state secretary Rainer Baake said the plans “implemented an important measure of Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050”. But it remains to be seen if the strategy will be carried through by a new government after the federal elections in September, the article says.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 16, 2017, 04:30:36 pm »

Fossil fuels subsidies ‘jeopardising climate deal’, say major investors

Published on 15/02/2017, 12:01am
A group of investors and insurers who manage $2.8trn has called on the G20 to end public funding for coal, oil and gas by 2020   

By Karl Mathiesen 

Investors with US$2.8 trillion  :o under management have called on the world’s leading economies to stop subsidising fossil fuels within four years.

The group, which includes insurance brands Legal & General and Aviva, issued a statement on Wednesday calling for a 2020 deadline to be set for a phase out of subsidies for coal, oil and gas by the G20 nations. G20 foreign ministers are meeting this week ahead of a leaders’ summit in Hamburg in July.

The G7 nations have pledged to end their subsidies by 2025, but much of the world’s carbon emissions growth is coming from countries on the next rung of the economic ladder.

The G20, which encompasses many of the world’s emerging economies, have agreed to phase out “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption” over the “medium term”. But despite increasing pressure from civil society and some countries within the G20, the commitment has remained hazy.

The group of fund managers, many of which hold large fossil fuel investments, said a clear signal from the world’s biggest economies would give them the confidence to shift capital towards clean energy.

Meryam Omi, head of sustainability and responsible investment strategy at Legal and General, said: “The current level of inefficient subsidies and lack of transparency are jeopardising the global goal of meeting the Paris climate targets and of ensuring a secure, healthy and reliable energy system.

“As investors, we are faced with a tremendous opportunity to finance the low carbon transition and, as such, we look for the governments to set a clear timeline and a plan for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies to enable an orderly transition. "

Subsidies can come in the form of tax breaks, direct finance and indirect assistance but the definition is a subject of debate. Because of this, estimates of global fossil fuel subsidies vary widely, but even conservative estimates set the annual spend in the hundreds of billions.

Secretary general of the Mercator Research Institute Brigitte Knopf leads a task force charged with advising on the G20 meeting’s climate agenda. She said the topic of phasing out fossil fuel subsidies would be discussed at the meeting.

“However, in the current political situation we will see what is realistic in the end,” she said. The meeting will be the first multilateral talks attended by the new US president Donald Trump and a major test of his anti-globalist agenda.

The US has led on this matter in the past, last year presenting a joint peer review with China. Germany and Mexico are set to follow suit. But Trump has already reversed many of the pro-climate initiatives of his predecessor Barack Obama.

On fossil fuel subsidies, Knopf said “a clear deadline would certainly help with this endeavour. However, a phase-out year of 2020 is very ambitious. In 2016, the G7 have agreed on a date of 2025 and I don’t expect that the G20 can become more ambitious than the already positive signal of a joint 2025 deadline. It is also very well possible for the G20 to come out with a two-step approach of different speeds, meaning that the industrialized countries agree to phase out earlier than the emerging economies.”

Shelagh Whitley, head of climate and energy at the ODI, said ministers and leaders meeting in Hamburg in July must heed the financial sector.

“Global investors and insurers are sending a clear message to governments that burning public money through fossil fuel subsidies is not just bad for the planet, but bad economic policy too,” she said.

A similar call was made by three insurers ahead of last year’s of G20 nations in China. In repeating their statement they were joined by a dozen investment groups and insurers. In terms of wealth managed, the group is equal in size to the world’s largest public fund - the US Social Security Trust Funds –  and more than three times larger than the largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s.

Foreign ministers from the G20 will meet in Bonn, Germany, later this week.

Agelbert NOTE: The U.S. Trump Fossil Fuel Government's Front Man, Tillerson    , will, of course, fight common sense policies to phase out fossil fuels tooth and nail. If he is successful , we are doomed.  :(

"The fossil fuel industry swallows up $5.3 trillion a year worldwide in hidden costs to keep burning fossil fuels, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This money, the IMF noted, is in addition to the $492 billion in direct subsidies offered by governments around the world through write-offs and write-downs and land-use loopholes.

In a sane world these subsidies would be invested to free us from the deadly effects of carbon emissions caused by fossil fuels, but we do not live in a sane world. "  -- Chris Hedges

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 08, 2017, 02:06:08 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: ANYONE who claims that there is not ample proof on this thread of the gargantuan, and totally unjustified, subsidies (THEFT from taxpayers) the fossil fuel industry welfare queens get annually from our government (and foreign governments all over the world too!) is REALLY off their rockers. 

To the ignoramous who complained about lack of fossil fuel subsidy proof here: Argue your point or STFU.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies in the U.S.

What is a fossil fuel subsidy?

A fossil fuel subsidy is any government action that lowers the cost of fossil fuel energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers. There are a lot of activities under this simple definition—tax breaks and giveaways, but also loans at favorable rates, price controls, purchase requirements and a whole lot of other things.

Are you looking for information about International Fossil Fuel Subsidies?  Then go here.

How much money does the U.S. government give oil, gas and coal companies?

In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $14 billion to $52 billion annually, while even efforts to remove small portions of those subsidies have been defeated in Congress, as shown in the graphic below
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 02, 2016, 07:04:19 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 04, 2016, 06:41:14 pm »

When you’re in a carbon hole, stop digging 

Published on 03/10/2016, 4:53pm 

Coal mine expansion makes dirty fuel cheap and delays the transition to clean alternatives. A moratorium is in order, argues Richard Denniss

By  Richard Denniss 

A world that is tackling climate change needs fewer coal mines, not more. But despite the simple truth of that statement, very large new coal mines are still being approved, subsidized and built around the world.   

In Australia, for example, the proposed Adani Carmichael mine – the largest ever in the country – would boost world coal output by around 40 million tonnes per year, enough to push the world price of coal down by around 1–2%.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement will require a broad range of measures, given that less coal will be needed in a low carbon future.

A simple first step for a world committed to a safe climate would be a moratorium on new coal mines, such as that proposed by the then-President of Kiribati, Anote Tong.

In addition to the obvious benefits of reducing coal production, avoiding unnecessary investment in unnecessary projects, and pushing up the price of coal, a moratorium on building new coal mines has a number of political economy, equity and diplomatic benefits.

Coal is by far the largest contributor to global emissions, and financially and politically, coal is the weakest member of the fossil fuel family. A moratorium on new coal mines further weakens the political power of the industry: Not only does it separate coal from the oil and gas sector, but it also separates the interests of the owners of existing coal mines from the interests of those proposing new coal mines.

Closely related to this is how a moratorium on new mines fits with the need for a “just transition” away from coal. Avoiding new mines helps to protect the jobs and wages of workers in existing coal mines, some of which might otherwise be forced to shut down early amid competition from new, often subsidized, coal mines.

This means a moratorium can help to support a more just and orderly transition for affected communities. When global demand for coal is flat or declining, every new coal mine built lowers both the market share and price received by all existing coal mines. That means new coal mines not only delay the transition away from coal; they also hurt existing coal miners’ livelihoods.

Study: Existing coal, oil and gas fields will blow carbon budget 

At a diplomatic level, the call for a moratorium allows countries that are committed to global climate action to place diplomatic pressure on the small number of countries that are committed to the construction of new coal mines.

In this sense, the call for a moratorium is the diplomatic equivalent of a divestment or "Keep it In the Ground” campaign. Forcing countries such as Australia to defend their right to significantly expand their coal exports is likely to help marginalize the views of such countries in existing foreign policy forums, including international climate negotiations.

As world demand for coal declines over time, the result will be lower prices. This will, inevitably, induce further demand, and thus delay the point at which renewable energy is significantly cheaper than coal fired electricity.

In addition to avoiding unnecessary investments and protecting the jobs of workers in existing coal mines, supply-side policies such as a coal moratorium can help to keep upward pressure on price and, in turn, augment and speed up the rate at which demand-side policies and technological change can drive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Richard Denniss  is chief economist at The Australia Institute, tweeting @rdns_tai. To learn more about efforts to achieve a moratorium on new coal mines in Australia, see:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2016, 06:44:26 pm »


To show you that the cratering of fossil fuel prices (and STOCK!) is NOT a recent trend, here's last year's one year performance Oil & Gas Writing on the Wall (Street).   8)


The totally unjustified price increase earlier this year was due to SPECULATION, not "supply & demand", as the recent wailing    and gnashing of teeth by oil trader crooks evidences when they got their arses handed to them by the Chinese.

Last year, reality was asserting itself in the stock market. Reality has a habit of doing that, despite the most energetic efforts at corruption and rigging by the champions      of profit over planet.  8)

Fossil Fuel Corporations are going to lose a lot of money.

Here's why. It is in the category of correct accounting procedures. Perhaps it is such a shock to the corporate world that they had to invent a new accounting term (i.e. Stranded Assets.).

"Stranded Assets", the new term for fossil fuels and the accompanying infrastructure plant and equipment, in real world accounting, means "LIABILITIES".

When that realization FINALLY hits the balance sheet preparers in the corporate world, the red ink will produce a TORRENT of fossil fuel industry bankruptcies. GOOD!  ;D

And let's not forget all those refineries, pipelines, drilling rigs and, last but not least, ocean going oil tankers that will find it rather difficult to carry olive oil or biofuels instead of crude oil....     

Looky here, a floating white elephant!
Hellespont Alhambra (now TI Asia), a ULCC TI class supertanker, which are the largest ocean-going oil tankers in the world

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 28, 2016, 06:05:02 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The following is a copy of one of 5 letters sent today to the candidates for governor of Vermont.

Each letter differs only by the name of the recipient.

The candidates for governor of Vermont are: Peter Galbraith, Bruce Lisman, Sue Minter, Matt Dunne and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott.

Jul 28, 2016

 Peter Galbraith

 To Galbraith,

 I agree with Ashley Orgain, as you should as well.

 "We can't have a healthy business on a sick planet."-- Ashley
 Orgain, manager of mission advocacy and outreach for Seventh
 Generation, Burlington, Vermont

 I am retired and live in a manufactured home. I have a low income but
 have never collected ANY kind of welfare, home heating assistance or
 food stamps, although I respect Vermonters who require those worthy
 services to help them get back on their feet.

 But there is a service this state is providing the polluters that is
 not worthy or justified by any stretch of the imagination. That is the
 direct and indirect subsidy that Vermont provides for fossil fuels and
 those who profit from selling them.

 Subsidizing fossil fuels and "externalizing" the pollution on
 to we-the-people is NOT a worthy service because of the directly
 related health care costs to the state, including, but not limited to,
 reduced longevity, absence from work due to illness and fossil fuel use
 related occupational hazards.

 I support a carbon pollution tax paired with tax cuts and investment in
 clean energy and efficiency.

 As a candidate for governor - I hope you understand that the vast
 majority of Vermonters believe global warming is real, primarily caused
 by humans and that we want to be part of the solution.

 We also want leaders willing to pursue policies that will protect our
 environment and strengthen our economy.

 We can do just that -- by lowering taxes on income, employment and
 sales,  investing in clean energy and efficiency and paying for it with
 a gradually rising tax on carbon pollution.

 This is an environmental and economic winner for our state. Continued
 subsidies and babying of fossil fuel providers is a LOSER for our state.

 If I am willing to pay a tax on carbon AND support the elimination of
 ALL subsidies for polluting fuel producers, there is no reason, besides
 unjustified profit over people and planet, that you should not do the


 Anthony G. Gelbert
(home address and e-mail address included)
Colchester, VT 05446

Yes, I know this letter to five candidates for Governor of Vermont is probably another one of my quixotic efforts.  :(  Howevah, ya never know when common sense might prevail over bought and paid for stupidity.

The story of my life: Outnumbered, always; outgunned, usually; outclassed, never.   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 05, 2016, 06:17:38 pm »

Elon Musk: We Must Revolt Against the Unrelenting Propaganda of the Fossil Fuel Industry

Lorraine Chow | May 5, 2016 11:18 am

During an interview at the World Energy Innovation Forum (WEIF) at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory Wednesday, Elon Musk criticized fossil fuel subsidies as well the alleged “propaganda” tactics deployed by Big Oil and Gas to tarnish his companies, including Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX.

“The fundamental issue with fossil fuels is … every use of fossil fuels comes with a subsidy ,” Musk said in his talk with forum organizer and DBL Partners venture capitalist Ira Ehrenpreis.

According to the Tesla CEO, cheap oil and gasoline prices not only prevent drivers from switching their gas-guzzlers to electric cars, it also deters the fight against climate change.

Musk explained that the well-funded fossil fuel industry isn’t even paying for their contribution to environmental destruction. 

“It would be like if you could just dump garbage in the street and not pay for garbage pickup,” he said.

Citing data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Musk lamented he’s “competing against something that has a $6 trillion per year subsidy,” and that the low gas prices that subsidies create are “weakening the economic-forcing function to sustainable transport and clean energy in general.”

Musk suggested that a carbon tax would help curb Dirty Energy’s emissions but passage of such a policy would be “hugely politically difficult” and that politicians usually pick the easier path of providing subsidies for electric cars, “even though gas cars are getting a bigger subsidy.”

Although the electric vehicle maker said he was “encouraged by the Paris talks,” he still thinks that the transition to clean energy and sustainable transportation isn’t happening quickly enough.

Musk gave an example of how the fossil fuel industry has been feeding negative stories to the press about his many companies.

As Electrek explained:

The CEO implied that the LA Times article from last year that misleadingly asserted that Musk’s companies received $4.9 billion in subsidies originated from the fossil fuel industry.

Musk suggested that the report was planted to counter the IMF study that found that the fossil fuel industry was receiving the equivalent of ~$5 trillion in subsidy a year. Both reports came out around the same time.

“After the IMF came out with their study showing that fossil fuels are subsidized to the tune of $6 trillion a year [it’s was actually $5.3 trillion in 2015]–like $6 trillion per year,” Musk said. “Then some representatives from the oil and gas industry added up all the incentives that Tesla had received and will receive in the future, which happens to coincide with the $6 billion figure.” 

“We need to appeal to the people–educate people to sort of revolt against this and to fight the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous,” he concluded.

Earlier in his talk, Musk also predicted that autonomous cars are the future of transportation.

“It’s going to become common for cars to be autonomous a lot faster than people think,” Musk said, adding that half of all new cars will have self-driving technology within seven to 10 years.

“It’ll just be something where it’s odd if it’s not in your car. Like not having GPS or something like that, but even bigger. It’ll just be normal,” he said.

The entire interview was captured by Electrek in the video below. Musk’s discussion about the fossil fuel industry starts around the 18:30 mark.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 04, 2016, 03:08:12 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: If the Saudis can eliminate the oil subsidy SWAG, there is NO REASON we can't do the same in the United States.

Saudi prince makes bold challenges to kingdom's old ways

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman got a standing ovation when he visited a gathering of Saudi youth last month.

Posted 04 May 2016 23:00 Updated 04 May 2016 23:30


Last week, Prince Mohammed officially unveiled Saudi Vision 2030, his blueprint to move the economy decisively from that he called its “addiction to oil” towards the private sector.   

The phased removal of subsidies on fuel  , water and electricity - part of the welfare lavished on Saudis, of whom about four out of five workers hold public sector jobs - is already underway.   


Abdulaziz al-Sager, head of the Jeddah and Geneva-based Gulf Research Centre, says there is a growing recognition among Saudi leaders that the oil-based economic system is not sustainable. That will necessarily lead to social and political change.

We-the-people CANNOT AFFORD to continue to baby the fossil fuel industry WELFARE QUEENS in the U.S.! 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 19, 2016, 06:34:20 pm »

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF
‘Shocking’ revelation finds $5.3tn subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments

Excellent article with revealing graphics and charts:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 19, 2016, 06:27:02 pm »

Koch Brothers Plotting Multimillion Dollar War on Electric Vehicles   

Lorraine Chow | February 19, 2016 2:45 pm


Death to the electric car?    Charles and David Koch are reportedly backing a new group that will use millions to promote petroleum and fight against government subsidies for electric vehicles.

In an effort to strike back at record-breaking EV sales, the fossil fuel industry is allegedly funding a new organization that will spend $10 million a year to push petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies on EVs, refining industry sources told the Huffington Post.

Elon Musk
✔  ‎‎@elonmusk 

Worth noting that all gasoline cars are heavily subsidized via oil company tax credits & unpaid public health costs.

Comment by renewableguy

Fossil fuels is scared sh--less.

Agelbert reply:

Amory Lovins knows the score. The fossil fuel industry is a wounded beast. It's days are numbered.

Over the past 40 years, Americans have saved 31 times as much energy as renewables added. Those cumulative savings are equivalent to 21 years’ current energy use.  They’re simply invisible: you can’t see the energy you don’t use. But globally, it’s a bigger “supply” than oil, and inexorably, it’s going to get much, much bigger.

Oil companies worry about climate regulation, but they’re even more at risk from market competition. The oil that’ll be unburnable for climate reasons is probably less than the oil that’ll be unsellable because efficiency and renewables can do the same job cheaper.

An oil business that sputters when oil’s at $90 a barrel, swoons at $50, and dies at $30 will not do well against the $25 cost of getting U.S. mobility—or anyone else’s, since the technologies are fungible—completely off oil by 2050. That cost, like the $18 per saved barrel to make U.S. automobiles uncompromised, attractive, cost-effective, and oil-free, is a 2010–11 analytic result; today’s costs are even lower and continue to fall.

In short, like whale oil in the 1850s, oil is becoming uncompetitive even at low prices before it became unavailable even at high prices.

As Oil Prices Gyrate, Underlying Trends Are Shifting To Oil's Disadvantage
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 13, 2016, 07:15:17 pm »

President Obama said,
“Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.”

Jan 13, 2016 Sara Shor - 
Since 1920, the government has been selling coal, oil, and gas on federal land to the highest bidder. President Obama has rightly identified that this is an antiquated system due for an overhaul. But these federal fossil fuel auctions don’t just require minor adjustments -- each and every one of them needs to be cancelled. (Last year, local activists mobilized around six government fossil fuel auctions, and managed to get two of them called off.) 

Half the fossil fuels under U.S. soil are on these public lands. That includes coal in Montana, offshore oil in Virginia, and fracked gas in Colorado. If he wanted to, President Obama could say “let’s keep it all in the ground” tomorrow, and we could keep 450 gigatons of carbon out of our atmosphere (without interference from climate deniers in Congress).

Fossil fuel companies already have five times more oil, gas, and coal than they can burn. We can’t afford to sell them any more. We have to just start saying no.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 22, 2015, 09:55:59 pm »

The 800 Ways Taxpayer Money Supports Fossil Fuel Industries
If the world seeks to lower carbon emissions, why is support for fossil fuels so strong?   

September 21, 2015

By Reed Landberg, Bloomberg

As world leaders converge on New York for a United Nations gathering that’s expected to have a strong emphasis on climate change, the OECD is pointing out 800 ways rich industrial nations support fossil fuels with taxpayer money, along with a handful of countries that are catching up quickly.

The measures were worth $167 billion last year for the oil, natural gas and coal industries  , according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based institution that advises 34 industrial nations. While that number has fallen from almost $200 billion in 2012, it easily exceeds the value of subsidies for renewables such as wind and solar.  >:(

The findings released Monday are designed to stimulate debate on what constitutes fair support for energy technologies. World leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are attempting to ratchet up ambitions for a global deal reducing greenhouse gas pollution. The UN-organized negotiations are expected to yield an international agreement in Paris in December. The OECD report suggests policy makers burrow into their own tax and spending measures for a solution.

“We’re totally schizophrenic,” Angel Gurria, the OECD’s secretary-general, said at a press conference in Paris on Monday. “We’re trying to reduce emissions, and we subsidize the consumption of fossil fuels. These policies are not obsolete, they’re dangerous legacies of a bygone era when pollution was viewed as a tolerable side effect of economic growth. They should be erased from the books.”

The report covered OECD member nations plus six developing economies outside the group -- Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. It expands on a 2013 assessment and on the work of the International Energy Agency, which put the cost of fossil fuel subsidies at $548 billion in 2013, down 25 percent from the year before.

Biggest Subsidizers

The IEA report includes countries from the Middle East and Africa such as Qatar, Iran and Nigeria that top other rankings of big subsidizers. It looked at how consumer prices vary from market prices, while the OECD looked specifically at measures in national budgets that support fossil fuels.

“If other developing countries were included, then the total would be much higher,” said Angus McCrone, senior analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London. “The reassuring point from the OECD report is that although it found attempts to reduce fossil-fuel subsidies running into inertia, it also concluded that support is now on a downward trend.”

Renewable energy subsidies rose 15 percent to $121 billion in 2013 and may rise to $230 billion by 2030, according to an IEA report released last year.

The measures counted by the OECD covered some of the most obscure pieces of national tax codes -- including direct controls on gasoline prices, depreciation allowances for oil drillers, breaks for refiners, credits for infrastructure like pipelines and stimulus for technology to clean up coal emissions.

‘People Are Outraged’ 

“People are outraged when they find out that their tax dollars are being used to prop up the richest industry on the planet,” said Jamie Henn, strategy director at, the campaign group founded by environmentalist Bill McKibben to urge investors to divest from high-polluting industries.

“Funding fossil fuels is like buying up typewriters at the dawn of the computer age.”   

Oil and oil products reaped 82 percent of the support, according to the OECD, with coal collecting 8 percent and gas 10 percent. A plunge in crude oil prices reduced some of the cost of subsidies.

More important were measures taken in India, China, Mexico and Indonesia, as well as most industrial nations, to reduce handouts to forms of energy that produce significant amounts of pollution. India saved 200 billion rupees ($3 billion) from 2012 to 2014 by slashing subsidies for diesel. Indonesia reduced consumer aid for electricity and motor fuels that ate up a fifth of its spending as recently as 2011. In the U.S., Obama has proposed $4 billion a year of savings from reduced fossil-fuel support.

“We’re certainly not saying that all the measures are bad,” since some are targeted to help poor people afford fuel they need, Jehan Sauvage, the lead author of the OECD report, said in an interview. “The key message is to ask if this is the best use of public money. Are these measures the best way to support the goals we have?”

©2015 Bloomberg News
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 02, 2015, 10:15:42 pm »

Tell Congress: Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes
58,141 signatures
58% Complete

In 2013, taxpayers spent BILLIONS in subsidies for big oil and gas companies – the same year the Big Five oil companies brought in $93 BILLION in profits. That’s $177,000 per minute! It’s outrageous: Congress is pouring money into companies that are already wildly profitable.

Some of these tax loopholes have been on the books for 100 years! Over the years, oil loopholes have amounted to a gift of hundreds of billions of dollars from taxpayers to one of the most profitable industries in the world. With taxpayer subsidies like that, it's no wonder the Big Five oil companies were able to pay their
CEOs $125 million last year alone.

It’s time to stop giving unfair tax giveaways to Big Oil. Add your name to tell Congress to close Big Oil tax loopholes!

Sen. Al Franken
Sen. Patrick Leahy
Sen. Ed Markey
Sen. Bob Menendez
Sen. Patty Murray
Sen. Bill Nelson
Sen. Jack Reed
Sen. Chuck Schumer
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 17, 2015, 07:12:25 pm »

Why Republicans Vote for Bernie

Agelbert comment: Thom,

You left out one VERY IMPORTANT reason why most Americans will support Senator Sanders for President:

Senator Sanders has submitted legislation to eliminate the subsidies for Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power. That corporate welfare queen THEFT is a HUGE millstone around the neck of America that AIDS the polluters and HINDERS the 100% Renewable Energy transition that would provide jobs and a chance to survive Climate Change.

“At a time when scientists tell us we need to reduce carbon pollution to prevent catastrophic climate change, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies that pad fossil-fuel companies’ already enormous profits,” said senator Bernie Sanders, who announced on 30 April he is running for president.

Sanders, with representative Keith Ellison, recently proposed an End Polluter Welfare Act, which they say would cut $135bn of US subsidies for fossil fuel companies over the next decade. “Between 2010 and 2014, the oil, coal, gas, utility, and natural resource extraction industries spent $1.8bn on lobbying, much of it in defence of these giveaways,” according to Sanders and Ellison.

Many conservatives are keenly aware of this.  People get tired of being ripped off by the fossil fuel government. They can add and subtract.

For example, gasoline prices have not been cut anywhere near what they should have been cut.

The amazing way a pipeline here, or a refinery shut down there (accompanied by copious crocodile tears about wanting to provide us a "service"), manages to keep gasoline prices "inelastic" (on the way down, OF COURSE - they have a hair trigger on the way up!) so they go up at a moment's notice despite that bla, bla about all the "good, prudent, business" reasons they don't go down is more mindfork as per Orwell speak and Machiavelli.

One must know how to color one’s actions and to be a great liar and deceiver. – Niccolo Machiavelli

"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato

Joe Mauk called BS on a recent crocodile tear piece by an oil industry shill titled "Why don't gas prices fall?":

"At $80 a barrel being 42 gallons of gas at $1.60 a gallon, then $49 dollars a barrel should be at about .95 to $1.30. The figures for a barrel of oil to a gallon of gas is over a $1.50 more per gallon than it needs to be so, they are making profit, what they report losses on is anyone's guess."
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 07, 2015, 11:51:45 pm »

The fossil fuel government has the fossil fuel (welfare queen) industry's back!  And OUR our wallet!   

Did you know you could get billions of dollars from the US government to be in the oil business? Or the coal industry? Or fracking? In this satirical infomercial, famous American government grant guru Matthew Lesko shows how you too can get billions of dollars from the government to destroy the environment!

• Seriously, fossil fuel companies are racking in billions from subsidies. Learn more here.

• This is part of our comedy series, Climate change: too hot to handle
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 27, 2015, 06:16:50 pm »

‘Renewables Are Cheapest Energy Option’ When Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are Removed, Says REN21 
Alex Kirby, Climate News Network | June 27, 2015 12:34 pm

A significant threshold has been crossed by renewable energy as analysts report that the sectorʼs size last year reached double the level it was at just 10 years earlier.

Removing fossil fuel and hidden nuclear subsidies globally would make it evident that renewables are the cheapest energy option. Photo credit: Shutterstock

This expansion happened in a year when the global economy and energy use both grew, but without a matching rise in emissions of carbon dioxide  —the main greenhouse gas targeted in efforts to restrain global warming.

The report by REN21, a global renewable energy policy network, says the result is an example of sustainable development. Despite the worldʼs annual 1.5 percent increase in energy consumption in recent years and 3 percent GDP growth last year, 2014ʼs CO2 emissions were unchanged from 2013ʼs total of 32.3 billion tonnes.

The reportʼs authors say this decoupling of economic and CO2 growth is due to Chinaʼs increased use of renewables and to efforts by OECD countries to promote more sustainable growth, including by increased energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.
“Renewable energy and improved energy efficiency are key to limiting global warming to 2°C and avoiding dangerous climate change,” says Arthouros Zervos, who chairs REN21.


Distorting subsidies

Solar, wind and other technologies, including large hydro-electric schemes, used in 164 countries added another 135 Gigawatts last year to bring the worldʼs total installed renewable energy power capacity to 1,712 GW. This was 8.5 percent up on 2013, and more than double the 800 GW of capacity recorded in 2004. One GW can power between 750,000 and one million typical U.S. homes.

The authors say the sectorʼs growth could be even greater were it not for more than US$550 bn paid out in annual subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy. They say the subsidies keep the prices for energy from these fuels artificially low, encouraging wasteful use and hindering competition.

Christine Lins, executive secretary of REN21, says: “Creating a level playing field would strengthen the development and use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Removing fossil fuel and hidden nuclear subsidies globally would make it evident that renewables are the cheapest energy option.”


By the end of 2014, renewables comprised an estimated 27.7 percent of the worldʼs power generating capacity—enough to supply an estimated 22.8 percent of global electricity demand.

The amount of electricity available from renewables worldwide is now greater than that produced by all coal-burning plants in the U.S. Coal supplied about 38 percent of U.S. electricity in 2013, compared with around 50 percent in the early 2000s.

Solar photovoltaic capacity has had a rapid 68-fold growth, from 2.6 GW in 2004 to 177 GW in 2014, while wind power capacity has increased eightfold, from 48 GW in 2004 to 370 GW in 2014. Employment in the sector is also growing fast, with an estimated 7.7m people worldwide working directly or indirectly on renewable energy last year.


Outpacing fossil fuels

New investment globally in renewable power capacity was more than twice that of investment in net fossil fuel power capacity, continuing the trend of renewables outpacing fossil fuels in net investment for the fifth year running.

Investment in developing countries was up 36 percentsu from the previous year, to $131.3 bn. It came closer than ever to overtaking the investment total for developed economies, which reached $138.9 bn in 2014—up only 3 percent from 2013.


China accounted for 63 percent of developing country investment, with Chile, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey each investing more than $1bn. By dollars spent, the leading countries for investment were China, the U.S., Japan, the UK and Germany. Leading countries for investments relative to per capita GDP were Burundi, Kenya, Honduras, Jordan and Uruguay.

But REN21 points out that more than a billion people—15 percent of humanity—still lack access to electricity, and the entire African continent has less power generation capacity than Germany.

The report says that off-grid solar PV has “a significant and growing market presence,” and other distributed renewable energy technologies are improving life in remote off-grid areas.

However, it stresses that this growth rate is still not enough to achieve the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) goals of doubling renewable energy and energy efficiency, and providing universal access for all by 2030.

Agelbert NOTE:
The math done above is accurate as far as it goes. However, it does not even begin to explain how REALLY EXPENSIVE fossil fuels ALWAYS HAVE BEEN!

WHY? Because the invisible "subsidies" (health care costs, pollution costs, wars for oil costs, ETC.) were not included. There is NO SUCH THING as an "externality" in thermodynamic processes. EVERYTHING that happens has a MEASURABLE effect. The Empathy Deficit Disordered ASS HOLES in the dirty energy industry have tried to make their biosphere math challenged fairy tale view of reality the "accepted wisdom". Only fools continue to believe them.

Hope for a Viable Biosphere of Renewables: Why They Work and Fossil & Nuclear Fuels Never Did

The quagmire that faces industrialised civilisation is much of it was built using cheap fossil fuels which were not only subsidised directly but in nearly all cases the externalities were never factored in so the damage and costs associated with fossil fuel were lugged to the general population/wildlife/environment.  - Monsta666

Monsta is right. But he ignores the DELIBERATE malice and aforethought that gave dirty energy the "subsidies" in the first place AND continues to be used as a hammer to hamper cost effective energy (i.e. RENEWABLE ENERGY) development due to MASSIVE big oil corporate corruption of government.  >:(

MKing's mendacity and double talk (see defense of fracking    below) about energy costs is a textbook example of the mens rea modus operandi of externality ignoring fossil fuelers everywhere. 
Might I pose the question that if we peak oilers are correct about fracking being a ponzi scheme; that major cracks should start appearing soon in this house of leverage and constantly required drilling or fracking of costly wells.

Tight/shale oil and gas wells aren't expensive, the most recent range of numbers provided to the public by the Texas BEG are in the 3-10 million each range, drilling and completing, I confirmed this independently after I last spoke with Tinker and his group a month or two back.

These kinds of numbers are nearly insignificant when compared to conventional oil or gas production in places like the North Slope or GOM, North Sea, anywhere in the Arctic, and are less than half the cost of doing the SAME thing in Argentina, China, or Russia.

As far as hydraulic fracturing itself being a ponzi scheme, it has been going on for 60+ years, I don't think it has much to do with overall financial performance myself, but more with the relationship between price, cost and well performance.

For example, using financial reports on public companies allows interesting analysis of the aggregate, but not the distribution of profitability at the well level of resolution.

For example, lets take two oil companies in the Bakken. One of them is run by a bloviating amateur, he drills and completes a $10M well, pays $1500/month to have someone operate it for him, and requires a nice office building, a staff of sycophants to blow smoke up his ass, all of these things cost money, and the overhead for this company is $100K/month.

This company will probably lose money, and badly, trying to recoup not only the initial CapEx but the $101.5K month nut they have created.

Whereas another company, requiring only one person to achieve the same result, and wanting a modest income of $2k month from this well, will probably make money.

No difference in anything other than the overhead sitting on top of the well's performance.

Fortunately, when the first company goes bankrupt, the second will buy the discounted cash flow of the first companies wells (doesn't give a crap about the building, let the bank foreclose) and make their money off expected increases in price as peak oil takes hold and the price of oil increases as Malthusians expect.

The combination of these three things at the detail level, and aggregate, is important. Amateurs don't tend to know the difference, in part because they don't see how the performance of private companies works, and how they are just salivating right now, waiting for someone to fall, that their assets might be acquired at a discount.

Quote from: Golden Oxen
Shouldn't financing and borrowing problems be arising already?

They certainly might be.

My connections with Wall Street money says that they are still looking to get in, you can barely get them to bite on 1/4B deals, they really want 1B deals right now, and can easily come up with 10B for the right deal.

So the money does not seem to have dried up yet.

To paraphrase Samuel Clemens in regard to some of his experiences with people that make holes in the ground to get stuff out of and sell to us for "profit", a FRACKING site is a hole the ground with a bunch of LIARS on top.

Here's an article MKing will disagree with and ridicule as "garden variety" or "irrelevant" or disdain with some other pejorative bit of puffery.

The only part of the article he will agree with is that the Oil and Gas industry ACTUALLY gave solar power technology development a boost back in the 70s because PV supplied power to very remote locations the fossil fuelers tend be located for new profit over planet piggery.  ;D

The FULL story of how we-the-people have supported these fossil fuel and nuclear welfare queens is there from the start until this day. The appearance of profitability ignores our tax money for research and continuous subsidy.

Fossil fuelers have an amazing ability to ignore, not just externalized costs, but the giveaways from we-the-people! They have the brass balls to compute those subsidies as part of the ROI. That's a blatant accounting falsehood. Without subsides they are not profitable, period. But MKing will continue with his fantasies, come hell or high water. So it goes.  :P


The bias against renewable funding and support is clear. Recent analysis found that over the first fifteen years an industry receives a subsidy, nuclear energy received an average of $3.3 billion, oil and gas averaged $1.8 billion,Fto and renewables averaged less than $0.4 billion.

Renewables received less than one-quarter of the support of oil and gas and less than one-eighth of the support that nuclear received during the early years of development, when strong investment can make a big difference. Yet even with this disparity, more of our energy supply now comes from renewables than from nuclear, which indicates the strength of renewables as a potential energy source.


The momentum behind renewable development came to a rapid halt as soon as Ronald Reagan was elected president. Not only did he remove the solar panels atop the White House, he also gutted funding for solar development and poured billions into developing a dirty synthetic fuel that was never brought to market.

Unnatural Gas: How Government Made Fracking Profitable (and Left Renewables Behind)
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2015, 09:38:19 pm »

A Closer Look at Fossil and Renewable Energy Subsidies

The same permanent subsidies that made fossil fuels cheap are simply not available to the re-newable energy industry. Why not?

June 10, 2015

By Susan Kraemer, Contributor

A new study by the International Monetary Fund puts the total cost of fossil fuel subsidies at approximately $10 million a minute globally, when health costs and environmental degradation are included, never mind the effects of a destabilized climate in future centuries.

The most perverse of these subsidies are aimed at finding new reserves of oil, gas and coal, even though it is generally understood that these must be left in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic irreversible climate change.

When drilling for oil was a start-up industry in the 1890s, it cost today's equivalent of $500 a barrel to get it out of the ground, according to UC San Diego's James Hamilton in his study Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth.

The first federal tax break for the oil and gas industry came within its very first years. The Intangible Drilling Costs (IDC) still allows the industry to write off most drilling costs, like the tertiary injectants deduction, in full, immediately, rather than at normal business depreciation rates.

Enacted in 1926, the Percentage Depletion Tax Credit actually increases when prices go up, as it allows companies to deduct a flat percentage of income received from oil or gas wells, frequently resulting in tax deductions in excess of investment.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America describes the tax credit this way
: "This deduction is a standard part of the American tax code that supports the development of U.S. oil and natural gas that would otherwise be uneconomic to produce.”

When coal was a start-up industry (in the U.S.) in the late 1700s, it was given tax-free status, smelting was given incentives, and competing old world coal imports were taxed at 10 percent. Four centuries later, coal is still receiving $5 billion in incentives a year. The result is coal-fired electricity at about US $0.04 per kilowatt-hour (when burned in power plants that are already built, the costs of which have already been passed along to ratepayers).

"There are dozens and dozens of tax credits for conventional energy," said SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith, based on the knowledge he gained in 30 years of building natural gas plants. "For example, if the Keystone pipeline goes ahead; the refineries who refine that type of alternative fuel get a 50 percent ITC. There are depreciation allowances for wells as they start to degrade, there are just a long list of tax advantages. And all of them are a permanent part of the tax codes.”

These and other oil and gas subsidies total about $7 billion a year in the U.S., according to Taxpayers for Common Sense Understanding Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies.
For centuries, the U.S. Congress has made these sorts of federal investments in each new form of fossil energy.

Permitting, Leasing Inequities, Too

State-level policies increase expenses for renewable energy project developers by making permitting onerous for new projects. In California for example, permitting has historically been almost nonexistent for fossil fuels, but has set a much higher bar for renewable energy.
Permitting solar farms in California can be a three-year multi-million-dollar process. Fossil fuel companies can simply declare on a one page form their intentions to drill next Friday. Further, land leasing costs are higher for solar and wind than for fossil fuels. Land leases for oil and gas were still at 1920s prices in 2009, when the BLM was setting market rates for the renewable industry.

The coal industry pays land rents for natural resource extraction on land that has been undervalued since the 1800s. In the last 30 years, the treasury has lost nearly $30 billion in revenue by undervaluing public lands in Wyoming and Montana where Powder River coal is mined, according to Tom Sanzillo, Finance Director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Make Renewable Subsidies Permanent

It is almost impossible to reverse permanent subsidies in the tax code. It has never happened in the U.S., so some advocates believe that a more practical solution would be: if you can't beat them, join them.

The coal industry's PTC for producing refined coal is $6.71 a ton — in 2015. The wind industry’s $0.023 per kWh PTC keeps flickering out every few years. Renewables have been stymied by stop/start subsidies that almost seem designed to scare off investors, because none are permanently in the tax code the way fossil fuel subsidies are.

Uncertainty alone makes subsidies less effective. If the ITC and PTC were permanent, renewable investment would be more predictable, so supplying equipment for projects and capital cost would be less, bringing generation costs down. While some investors are able to stomach the risk of buying into renewables projects without knowing whether the tax credits will still be there when their projects reach fruition, most cannot.

Because subsidies for fossil fuels are permanent, the effect is much greater, because permanence provides a stable and predictable investment environment not given to renewables.

One way to create a level playing field with fossil fuels would be make the subsidies for wind and solar just as permanent as those for fossil fuels. Either that, or remove all subsidies for all forms of fuel, something very unlikely to happen.

Comment by Jan Freed

The Harvard School of Medicine study concludes that coal alone has enormous hidden costs from over 70 harmful side effects, aside from tax breaks.

We pay $300-$500 billion per year in these hidden costs, costs that double or triple the sticker price of coal energy.

Perspective?  800 "Solyndras" of taxpayer harms per year for the privilege of burning coal.

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2015, 08:00:15 pm »

How much does the world spend to subsidize fossil fuels? The IMF wants to know   

By Heather Smith  on 15 Jun 2015 4:03 am

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 30, 2015, 10:30:08 pm »

Reflections From Below The Fossil Subsidy Iceberg  :P
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 30, 2015, 06:20:36 pm »

01/30/2015 12:47 PM   
Fossil Fuel Subsidies Finally Trending Down, But Not In US  ???  >:( News

Now that deep sea oil drilling projects are being cancelled across the world because of low petroleum prices, governments should use this opportunity to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).

 And at least 27 countries are doing so, they say. It started in 2013, when fossil subsidies declined by $27 billion to $548 billion, while renewable energy support rose $11 billion to $96.5 billion. The process is accelerating with low oil prices.

"In the absence of subsidies, all of the main renewable energy technologies would be competitive with oil-fired plants," says Faith Birol, Chief Economist at IEA.

IEA calculates that for every $1 that subsidizes renewable energy, $6 is spent to subsidize fossil fuels - precious funds that could be used for sustainable development.

Countries cutting subsides range from Mexico to Germany, from Morocco to Malaysia, mostly in the form of higher gas prices - everyone except the US, as usual! There's no need to subsidize fossil fuel consumption when prices are so low, saving governments lots of money and leveling the playing field for renewable energy.

India, for example, has been spending 2.2% of GDP on fossil subsidies to keep electric and fuel prices artificially low.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies US

Countries need to stop providing subsidies to stoke exploration and production - amounting to about $88 billion last year. The UK, for example, is considering incentives for drilling in the North Sea, and the US - the biggest subsidizer - has a new offshore oil leasing plan. 

IEA has been fervently calling for an end to fossil subsides - that alone, would reduce global emissions 13% - while making it much easier for renewable sources to compete. It would also reduce air and water pollution and free up funding for the Green Climate Fund. 

Efforts to cut emissions by using more renewable energy can't do the job if fossil fuel use keeps growing, says IEA. If the status quo continues, global energy demand will rise 37% and carbon emissions 20% by 2040. That would lead to a 3.6°C (6.5°F) temperature rise - making catastrophic sea level rise, polar ice cap melt, water shortages and other severe effects inevitable.

To get fossil subsidies down faster, the Center for American Progress is promoting "SPARC Bonds," which would be repaid with savings from reduced subsidies. Read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 15, 2015, 10:04:45 pm »

See how much you are getting RIPPED OFF by all the above at the link:   :o  >:(
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 12, 2014, 04:12:46 pm »

How to Promote Solar — And Help Repeal Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Parody

 Tor 'Solar Fred' Valenza,  UnThink Solar
 November 12, 2014

Article at link:

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