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Subsidy Estimation: A survey of current practice

This document is addressed primarily to those individuals who are interested in preparing estimates of subsidies to particular products or sectors—people who engage in what might be called “subsidy accounting.”  Unlike financial accounting for the business sector, or public-sector accounting for governments, there exists no agreed set of standards for producing such accounts.

Nuclear Energy Loses Cost Advantage

Identifying the real costs of competing energy technologies is complicated by the wide range of subsidies and tax breaks involved. As a result, U.S. taxpayers and utility users could end up spending hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars more than necessary to achieve an ample low-carbon energy supply, if legislative proposals before the U.S. Congress lead to adoption of an ambitious nuclear development program, Mr. Cooper said in a report last November...

Green Scissors 2010

Since its inception fifteen years ago, the Green Scissors Campaign has fought to make environmental and fiscal responsibility a priority in Washington. By eliminating subsidies and programs that both harm the environment and waste taxpayer dollars, the federal government can protect our natural resources while reducing the growth of government spending and making a significant dent in the national debt. Green Scissors 2010 identifies more than $200 billion in wasteful government subsidies that are damaging to the environment and harmful to consumers.

Using Biofuel Tax Credits to Achieve Energy and Environmental Policy Goals

The federal government supports the use of biofuels—transportation fuel produced usually from renewable plant matter, such as corn—in the pursuit of national energy, environmental, and agricultural policy goals. Tax credits encourage the production and sale of biofuels in the United States, while federal mandates specify minimum amounts and types of biofuel usage each year through 2022. Tax credits effectively lower the private costs of producing biofuels relative to the costs of producing their substitutes, gasoline and diesel fuel.

Oil Drillers Gain Billions from 'Immoral' Tax Break

The two largest offshore drilling companies in the world, Transocation and Noble Corporation, are in reality headquartered in the Houston area but moved their legal domiciles first to the Cayman Islands and then to Switzerland to avoid U.S. tax. Calculations shown below indicate that those maneuvers have reduced their tax bills by more than $2 billion.

Transocean owned and operated the floating, dynamically positioned rig that exploded on April 20, leading to a loss of 11 lives and spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Biofuels and the need for additional carbon

Use of biofuels does not reduce emissions from energy combustion but may offset emissions by increasing plant growth or by reducing plant residue or other non-energy emissions. To do so, biofuel production must generate and use ‘additional carbon’, which means carbon that plants would not otherwise absorb or that would be emitted to the atmosphere anyway. When biofuels cause no direct land use change, they use crops that would grow regardless of biofuels so they do not directly absorb additional carbon.

Coal and Renewables in Central Appalachia: The Impact of Coal on the West Virginia State Budget

In this report, we examine the net impact of the coal industry on the West Virginia state budget by compiling data on and estimating both the tax revenues and the expenditures attributable to the industry for Fiscal Year 2009: July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. In calculating these estimates, there is an inherent degree of uncertainty associated with the results. We do not claim that our accounting of revenues and expenditures is precise; in fact, we round our estimates so as not to provide a false impression of precision.

Coal and Renewables in Central Appalachia: The Impact of Coal on the Tennessee State Budget

Although coal has played an important historical role, the Tennessee coal industry now provides few jobs to state residents, and does not provide significant revenues to the state budget. In fact, as estimated in this report, the industry itself—together with its direct and indirect employees—actually cost Tennessee state taxpayers more than they provide. Our estimates provide an initial accounting of not only the industry’s benefits, but also its costs.

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