Monday, December 17, 2012

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Run Rampant at the State Level – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Run Rampant at the State Level – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement: "These subsidies have come through the operation of the state tax code to be sure, but also through every other available mechanism of government market intervention—a list that includes subsidized credit and insurance, infrastructure provision, unfunded oversight, direct grants and below-market resource sales. And, just as these other types of support have received insufficient attention in federal fiscal cliff discussions, they are too often ignored at the state level as well."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 25, 2012

ConocoPhillips By The Numbers: Earns $1.8 Billion Profit, Gets $600 Million In Annual Tax Breaks | ThinkProgress

ConocoPhillips By The Numbers: Earns $1.8 Billion Profit, Gets $600 Million In Annual Tax Breaks | ThinkProgress:
Below is a quick glimpse at what ConocoPhillips is using its billions of dollars in profits for:

– ConocoPhillips has already spent $1.9 million lobbying Congress this year. Since 2011, ConocoPhillips spent over $20 million on lobbying Congress, making it the top spender of the oil and gas industry.
– Conoco has contributed over $483,000 to federal campaigns this year, with 90 percent of the contributions going to Republicans.
– Conoco is sitting on $1.3 billion in cash reserves.
– The company spent 8 percent of its third quarter profit — or $149 million— buying back its own stock, which enriches the largest shareholders and executives.
– Conoco’s production is 1 percent lower than this time last year (1.525 million BOE per day vs. 1.538 million BOE per day in 2011)
– Conoco paid an 18 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011. This is nearly half of the 35 percent standard top corporate tax rate.
– ConocoPhillips’ former CEO James Mulva received $18.92 million in total compensation last year. Current CEO, Ryan Lance received over $5.9 million in compensation in 2011. He sits on the board of the American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying arm of the oil and gas industry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Full Cost of Coal $500 Billion/Year in U.S., Harvard Study Finds - CleanTechnica

Full Cost of Coal $500 Billion/Year in U.S., Harvard Study Finds - CleanTechnica: "Each stage in the life cycle of coal—extraction, transport, processing, and combustion—generates a waste stream and carries multiple hazards for health and the environment. These costs are external to the coal industry and thus are often considered as “externalities.” We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually. Many of these so-called externalities are, moreover, cumulative. Accounting for the damages conservatively doubles to triples the price of electricity from coal per kWh generated, making wind, solar, and other forms of non fossil fuel power generation, along with investments in efficiency and electricity conservation methods, economically competitive. We focus on Appalachia, though coal is mined in other regions of the United States and is burned throughout the world."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fossil-fuels subsidized at USD 1 Trillion per year


Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is not a new concept. Back in 2009, the G20 committed to phasing out fossil fuels in the ‘medium term’. Earlier this year, close to a million people signed a petitions from and urging world leaders at the G20 Mexico meeting and the Rio+20 Earth Summit to follow up earlier promises with concrete action. The 2,700 members of the UN global compact released a statement supporting the idea, saying:
It is time to make the Rio+20 conference the beginning of the end of all subsidies to fossil fuels and reorient subsidies towards clean and renewable energy, including activities such as loan guarantee programmes for ensuring access to sufficient capital for renewable energy companies, measures to stabilize the long-term price of power from renewable projects, and policies to encourage the adoption of transformative low-carbon solutions.”
In total, 135 countries have voiced their support for fossil fuel subsidy reform. But, as you can see in this study from Oil Change International, little progress has been made so far. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Carbon: The Biggest Overlooked Fossil Fuel Subsidy | ThinkProgress

Carbon: The Biggest Overlooked Fossil Fuel Subsidy | ThinkProgress: "These carbon emissions may reasonably be considered a subsidy because they impose various costs on society (on agricultural productivity, property damage, human health, etc.), but since most countries don’t yet put a price on carbon emissions, these costs are not reflected in the fossil fuel market price.  Rather than fossil fuel producers and consumers paying these costs, society as a whole picks up the tab.  Therefore, fossil fuel prices are kept artificially low (Figure 2), which is generally the purpose of subsidies."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Growth Ponzi Scheme - Strong Towns

The Growth Ponzi Scheme - Strong Towns: "The reason we have this gap is because the public yield from the suburban development pattern — the amount of tax revenue obtained per increment of liability assumed — is ridiculously low. Over a life cycle, a city frequently receives just a dime or two of revenue for each dollar of liability. The engineering profession will argue, as ASCE does, that we're simply not making the investments necessary to maintain this infrastructure. This is nonsense. We've simply built in a way that is not financially productive."

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Congressional Push to End All Fossil Fuel Subsidies | The Nation

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks outside the US Capitol on May 10 to promote legislation to taxpayer support of dirty energy industries. Photo by George Zornick.
A Congressional Push to End All Fossil Fuel Subsidies | The Nation: "Over the next ten years, the oil, gas and coal industries are slated to receive $113 billion in taxpayer subsidies—that’s six times the rate at which clean energy initiatives are subsidized. Americans will fund everything from development research for the industry to loan guarantees. There are all kinds of absurd tax breaks—for example, since 1951 the coal industry has been allowed to treat income from coal mines as capital gains, which is now taxed at a 15 percent maximum, instead of as regular income like most other businesses in the country."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Think Drivers Pay the Cost of Roads? | Barataria – The work of Erik Hare

Think Drivers Pay the Cost of Roads? | Barataria – The work of Erik Hare: "Clearly, somebody besides the driver is paying for Minnesota’s roads. Drivers-through gasoline taxes, car registration fees and sales taxes on vehicles-actually pay only 62 percent of the costs of roads. General taxpayers “subsidize” the rest, no matter how much or little they drive."

Monday, April 16, 2012

The True Cost of Unwalkable Streets - Commute - The Atlantic Cities

The True Cost of Unwalkable Streets - Commute - The Atlantic Cities: "Perhaps the single most alarming public health trend in the United States today is the dramatic rise in the number of people who are overweight and obese, bringing serious risks of heart disease, diabetes and other consequences leading to life impairment and premature death. This is bad enough as it is, but I contend that it is particularly unfortunate that we do not sufficiently recognize the extent to which these trends are caused by environmental factors, particularly the shape of our built environment."

'via Blog this'

The cost of urban freeways | Better! Cities & Towns Online

The cost of urban freeways | Better! Cities & Towns Online: "Steve Mouzon of Original Green posted an illuminating blog on the destruction of real estate values adjacent to urban limited-access highways.

Mouzon argues that reduced real estate values could exceed a trillion dollars — double of the cost of the entire Interstate system."

'via Blog this'

A parking space initial direct cost: 10 to 100 thousand dollars.

There's No Such Thing As Free Parking | ThinkProgress: "In many locations, it comes down to the cost of land. An acre of land only parks around 120 cars. So, where an acre is worth $1.2 million, the cost of the land is $10,000 per space. Parking garages would seem to be a smart choice where land is expensive, because the cars are being stacked. However the construction is expensive and the higher up you go, the larger the steel members have to be.
Construction costs are typically between$20,000 and $40,000 per space. Of course the prettiest parking is underground, because it is invisible to the urban landscape. However this is the most expensive parking. Developers have told me that this parking is around $100,000 per space. So the simple answer is that parking costs a lot."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Feeding the Beast: The Backdoor Ways Transit Subsidizes Roads | - n8han

Feeding the Beast: The Backdoor Ways Transit Subsidizes Roads | - n8han: "One of the most insidious ways that automotive transport picks the pockets of alternative transport is in the construction of pedestrian overcrossings (POCs) spanning major arterials. It seems obvious that the $5M or so that it costs to construct a ped bridge should come from funds earmarked for pedestrian improvements, right?"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fossil-Fuels: USD billions in direct subsidy

Unearthing the True Cost of Fossil Fuels : TreeHugger: "Experts believe that oil companies alone receive $10-40 billion in handouts yearly. A conservative study from the Environmental Law Institute found that from 2002-2008, oil companies received $72 billion of taxpayer’s hard-earned cash. Another report from Management Information Systems, Inc found that between 1950 and 2010, $594 billion was spent directly subsidizing fossil fuels—and the lion’s share of that, almost two thirds, went to the oil industry. Coal, too, receives billions of dollars in annual federal handouts."

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 27, 2012

Big Oil Pumps Up Profits with Americans’ Cash

Big Oil Pumps Up Profits with Americans’ Cash: "high prices at the pump are only part of Americans’ Big Oil bill. They also pay more than $4 billion in unnecessary tax subsidies for domestic oil drilling and production every year. "

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 23, 2012

US Federal Gas and Oil Direct Subsidy

It is impossible to determine exactly how much taxpayer money is dished out just to the oil & gas industry alone. The reason is painfully obvious; our elected officials, and certainly the industry, don’t want the public to know how much it is; they would prefer we didn’t even know it exists. But many organizations and individuals have attempted to do so with limited success. That said, it seems that the general consensus averages’ around $24 billion each year in both direct payouts and Tax Expenditures, with the top number at about $37 billion.