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.
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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.
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.
This memo evaluates three tax subsidies to nuclear power contained in the American Power Act (APA): 5-year accelerated depreciation for reactors; a 10% investment tax credit; and an expansion of a production tax credit for nuclear. The draft Act was floated by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) in May 2010. Subsidy costs were evaluated using prototype AP1000 and Areva EPR reactor characteristics, and a range of values for cost of capital.
Through its focus on incentives for the coal industry, this document provides one of the best summaries we've seen on subsidies to coal gasification, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology, and associated carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods. Of particular merit are the state-by-state summaries of coal-supportive programs and policies. As the document was published four years ago, some program may have changed; however, the normal duration of subsidy policies suggests the vast majority remain in effect.
Subsidies for biofuels in the United States have reached levels unimagined when support for an "infant industry" began in the late 1970s. Today, the infant has grown into a strapping behemoth with a powerful sense of entitlement and an insatiable appetite for ethanol's primary feedstock: corn. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a record corn harvest of 13.2 billion bushels, 9 percent larger than the harvest of 2008.
One way to correct market failures is tax shifting -- raising taxes on activities that harm the environment so that their prices begin to reflect their true cost and offsetting this with a reduction in income taxes. A complementary way to achieve this goal is subsidy shifting. Each year the world's taxpayers provide at least $700 billion in subsidies for environmentally destructive activities, such as fossil fuel burning, overpumping aquifers, clearcutting forests, and overfishing.
This report summarizes the Climate Policy Initiative Workshop, hosted at DIW Berlin, that took place in November 2009.
At their meeting in Pittsburgh in September 2009, G20 Leaders called for an additional evidence base to support efforts by the member nations to reform and remove fossil fuel subsidies. At a workshop in Berlin in November 2009 we discussed the definition and quantification of energy subsidies, the evaluation of their impact, and the political economy of their reform.
Gaining Traction: The importance of transparency in accelerating the reform of fossil-fuel subsidies
An accurate picture of the level and nature of subsidization is a necessary first step towards reform. Reliable information facilitates an assessment of the subsidy's costs, distribution and impacts, and the development of effective strategies for reform. At the international level, it provides a foundation for dialogue on reform and for monitoring of progress towards de-subsidization.
The purpose of this report is to urge consistency in the development and implementation of federal administrative policies. Even as President Obama has pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, the Federal Government prepares to establish limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and the Administration fosters a transition to a low carbon economy, some Federal agencies continue to have policies and programs that provide substantial subsidies for the construction, expansion, and life extension of one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. - coal-fired power plants.