US

Two important publications on fossil fuel subsidies released last week

Two important publications on fossil fuel subsidies were released last week, though covering quite different aspects of the problem.  The first, by Oil Change International in Washington, DC, updated information on US subsidies to fossil fuels to 2013.  Their work captures the subsidy escalation that has occurred following surging domestic production of oil and gas in recent years.  The second, produced for the Global Subsidies Initiative in Geneva and WWF Russia, provides two case studies of Russian gas projects in the Arctic Circle.  This is an environmentally sensitive region of the worl

Energy Tax Breaks Wiki

Using an open architecture approach, the Energy Tax Breaks Wiki hopes to tabulate information on the applicablity and value of various federal tax breaks to energy in the United States.  The site is a joint project of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law and the Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

Subsidizing US ethanol exports

Subsidy arbitrage in international trade is not a new issue.  It is popping up again in the biofuels sector, this time regarding the collection of ethanol blending credits on fuel that is then shipped out of the United States.  Not surprisingly, producers in the receiving markets are not happy about it.  Robert Rapier has writting a good overview of the issue and the industry's denials (

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...

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.

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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