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Subsidies to Energy Industries

General introduction to the measurement and concepts associated with government subsidization of energy industries. Includes a review of a generic fuel cycle which identifies the most common types of subsidies at each stage and which energy types they tend to support within a global context. Also provides an overview of the challenges of successfully implementing subsidy reform.  Much more on the Encyclopedia of Energy is available from the publisher.

Federal Subsidies to Energy in 2003 - A First Look

Program line review of federal fiscal subsidies to energy for fiscal year 2003, to support the work of the National Commission on Energy Policy.  Aggregate subsidies were worth between $37 and $64 billion to the energy sector.  Analysis includes main tax expenditure and programmatic subsidies.  Time frame of analysis was insufficient to include credit subsidies to energy (via export banks, Rural Utility Service, and Power Marketing Administrations; recently-passed legislation containing energy tax breaks; or energy-related externalities.  Thus, real value of federal support would be even hi

Improving the Effectiveness of Tsunami Relief Efforts: A Concept Paper

This paper proposes two changes that I believe will make Tsunami relief efforts more effective. The first moves the detailed logistics system of the UN relief coordinator into the public domain. The objective of this change is to establish increased ability for outside groups to provide technology and data; to ensure more rapid access to updated information for all working in the region; and for increasing donor confidence in how the relief effort is being run.

Subsidies in the US Energy Sector: Magnitude, Causes, and Options for Reform

Examines the political drivers behind subsidy proliferation in the US federal system and a variety of options to improve transparency and contestability of the subsidy programs.  Paper contains ballpark values for US federal subsidies by energy type, based on an update of US energy subsidy estimates for 2003 prepared for the National Commission on Energy Policy.  Chapter published in Subsidy Reform and Sustainable Development: Political Economy Aspects, (OECD: Paris, France, 2007).

Biofuels - At What Cost? Government Support for Ethanol and Biodiesel in the United States

Detailed review of state and federal subsidies, prepared for the Global Subsidies Initiative.  Subsidy costs per unit fossil fuel or GHG displaced exceed $500 per mt of CO2-equivalent.  Policy structures are duplicative and generally linked to production rather than to the carbon displacement profile of particular producers.  Faster and more efficient ways to achieve the goals of energy security and greenhouse gas mitigation should be pursued. (October 2006).

Ten Most Distortionary Energy Subsidies

Government policies should work in tandem with market forces to achieve an adequate energy supply mix that is cleaner and more diverse than what preceeded it. In reality, thousands of government policies in place around the world act counter to stated objectives regarding energy security, diversification, and environmental protection. Based on past work by Earth Track, and querying subsidy experts from around the world, this paper highlights ten global subsidies deemed particularly eggregious.
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