Detailed look at the hierarchy of subsidies within the US federal government, using the analogy of Dante's Inferno. A great summary when the article first appeared nearly 15 years ago, the core issues sadly remain as central challenges today.
Publication or article
Consumer subsidies to oil consumption depress the visible price of fossil fuels to end users, and with it their incentive to substitute alternative fuels or conservation. Understanding which countries mute price adjustments in oil products, and to what degree, is important in mapping out the options and trade-offs for reform.
Rapid and dramatic changes in the world’s approach to energy have major implications for Kentucky and its coal industry. Concerns about climate change are driving policy that favors cleaner energy sources and increases the price of fossil fuels. The transition to sustainable forms of energy is becoming a major economic driver, and states are moving aggressively to develop, produce and install the energy technologies of the future. Long reliant on coal for jobs and electricity, Kentucky faces major challenges and difficult choices in the coming years.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009 provides the reader with the basic quantitative and qualitative facts on the nuclear power plants in operation, under construction and in planning phases throughout the world.
Patterns of energy production and use threaten the stability of
eco-systems and the health and well-being of current and future
generations. Still, energy subsidies worldwide amount to around USD
300.000 billion per year, or around 0.7 per cent of GDP.
Inappropriate subsidies contribute to widespread overfishing and to the distortion of trade in fisheries products. Current negotiations in the World Trade organization aim to address this problem through binding new subsidies rules. Meanwhile, many governments are working to reform their domestic fisheries subsidies programmes. But some fisheries subsidies will undoubtedly continue to be used for years to come. In this context, a knowledge of the policies and practices that can reduce the risks associated with these subsidies is critically important.
"Absolutely not," says Doug Koplow of the Cambridge, Mass.-based group Earth Track. He pointed to the fact that biofuel plantations often require the destruction of rainforests, causing greater net carbon emissions and destroying animal habitats. “You can say we’re growing crops for biofuels from pre-existing farmland, but then the offsetting food production begins to cut into natural habitat," he added.
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Sep 30 (IPS) – Why do U.S. oil companies — some of the most profitable corporations on the planet — receive 20 to 40 billion dollars a year in subsidies from the U.S. government?
"The billions of dollars that go into a nuclear power plant could be spent better in other ways, including making homes more energy-efficient, said Doug Koplow, president of Earth Track Incorporated, a Cambridge, Mass.-based consulting firm."
According to government data commissioned by the GSI, China provided a total of RMB 780 million (US$ 115 million, roughly US$ 0.40 a litre) in biofuel subsidies in 2006. These comprised support for ethanol in the form of direct output-linked subsidies paid to the five licensed producers, as well as tax exemptions and low-interest loans for capital investment. Further support is provided through mandatory consumption of ethanol-blended fuel in ten provinces (a ten per cent blend with gasoline, E10).