Monday, December 30, 2013

Oil was heavily subsidized even in the 1920's when cheap oil was flowing

Joint Committee on Taxation was already flagging oil and gas subsidies in the 1920s | Earth Track: "The text below has a refreshing honesty, particularly in comparison to the bland bureaucratic language that pervades government documents today.  The note to the in-process study reads:

The 1926 act in regard to depletion on oil and gas wells includes a radical change from the 1924 act, consisting of the substitution of an arbitary 27 1/2 per cent of gross income for a depletion deduction in lieu of the depletion, on discovery value previously allowed.  It is most important to study the effect of this change as it was made on insufficient data."

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Congress, full of oil trolls, cuts unemployment benefits, gives welfare to cars

Why should drivers get bigger subsidies than mass-transit riders? - The Washington Post: "One of the things lawmakers failed to do before adjourning this year, The Post’s Jia Lynn Yang reported, was adjust the program that allows workers, through their employers, to set aside pretax income to offset the cost of their commutes. As a result, starting Jan. 1, commuters who use mass transit will be able to set aside only $130 a month, down from $245 a month, while drivers will be able to increase their monthly parking set-aside from $245 to $250. Never mind that the increased use of public transportation benefits everyone, including those who continue to drive, giving them less traffic to contend with."

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Climate Change Risks Are Hiding in Investment Portfolios, Gore Says

Bloomberg: "We see the cost of carbon in multiple extreme weather events, in the melting ice and rising seas and the movement of tropical diseases into temperate latitudes, and climate refugees threatening the stability of governance in the developing countries of the world. So we're paying the cost of carbon every day."

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Social isolation - hidden cost of #autosprawl

Strong Towns: "But, what about the elderly?

Many of the elderly cannot (or should not) drive. Unlike children, it is not a phase that they will eventually grow out of. Are we to throw them into a retirement home, just because they are no longer able to drive and maintain their independence? Should we keep forcing them to drive, when we know that in their advanced age, their vision, judgement, and alertness is not what it use to be? Should we impose the burden of carting them around to their children?

In my opinion, all of those are cruel and humiliating options, yet they remain our only options, as long as we keep prioritizing the automobile in the way we design and build our environments."

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cars ad dependency crowds out real news

Billions of dollars are spent advertising cars. This money produces nothing, so it is a complete waste. It comes from the car buyer, so it is not strictly a subsidy. But the rest of us are giving up access to real news and information when editors are compromised by car ad money. Can't even put a dollar number on that subsidy.
Why Newspapers *Love* Cars: "Next time you flick through a newspaper, or look at a news website just take note of how much of the advertising is for cars, or car-related products, such as insurance. It’s truly remarkable, but not when you look at the stats:"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Tale of two Subsidies

Strong Towns: "we spend lavishly to promote homeownership and to ensure that private automobiles remain as inexpensive and convenient as possible."

$450 Billion in Federal Subsidies Tilt U.S. Real Estate Market Toward Sprawl | Streetsblog Capitol Hill

$450 Billion in Federal Subsidies Tilt U.S. Real Estate Market Toward Sprawl | Streetsblog Capitol Hill: "Overall, the report suggests, federal real estate interventions undermine market trends toward the development of more walkable places. About 85 percent of federal housing subsidies flow to single-family housing over multi-family, although only 65 percent of American households are homeowners and the majority of renters live in multi-family buildings. This has hampered the market for rental housing even as demand for multi-family rental housing has soared following the housing bust."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

California gives tax money to car company

NGT News - Next-Gen Transportation: Hyundai to Host Public Hydrogen Fueling Station in Calif.: "The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded Hydrogen Frontier Inc. a $3 million grant to build a new hydrogen fueling station for fuel cell electric vehicles at Hyundai's hydrogen energy generation and fueling station in Chino, Calif. Once completed, the facility will be open for public use."
The use of hydrogen for cars promotes sprawl. Hydrogen does not reduce energy use.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Deferred costs of oil: destruction of wetlands and subsequent flooding

La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands : NPR: "On Wednesday, the board sued the industry, arguing that it is responsible for a big part of the problem, and hasn't paid its fair share to protect the city.

Barry says the industry contributed to the problem in a couple of ways: By sucking the oil and gas out of the ground, it caused the land to sink. The industry has also dug thousands of miles of channels to lay pipeline and reach well sites, which allows saltwater to seep in to swamps and marshes."

Monday, July 22, 2013

New report exposes billions per year in new fossil fuel subsidies - The Price of Oil

New report exposes billions per year in new fossil fuel subsidies - The Price of Oil: "Our new analysis dives into a shady corporate structure called “Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)” and seeks to do a more thorough job of quantifying the value of tax avoidance the fossil fuel industry is able to enjoy by utilizing these structures. MLPs were largely ruled out by the IRS for most US industries some 25 years ago, but special rules continue to provide eligibility for fossil fuels, and have allowed a growing range of oil and gas activities to escape corporate income taxes entirely."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One, just one, of the many costs of #autosprawl, traffic congestion.

Urban Mobility Information: "As traffic congestion continues to worsen, the time required for a given trip becomes more unpredictable, and researchers now have a way to measure that degree of unreliability, introduced for the first time as part of the annual Urban Mobility Report (UMR), published by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI)."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

IMF puts fossil fuel external subsidy at USD two trillion

Energy subsidies are pervasive and impose substantial fiscal and economic costs in most regions.
On a pre-tax basis, subsidies for petroleum products, electricity, natural gas, and coal reached $480 billion in 2011 (0.7 percent of global GDP or 2 percent of total government revenues). The cost of subsidies is especially acute in oil exporters, which account for about two-thirds of the total. On a post-tax‖ basis, which also factors in the negative externalities from energy consumption—subsidies are much higher at $1.9 trillion (2½ percent of global GDP or 8 percent of total government revenues). The advanced economies account for about 40 percent of the global posttax total, while oil exporters account for about one-third. Removing these subsidies could lead to a 13 percent decline in CO2 emissions and generate positive spillover effects by reducing global energy demand.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

True Cost of Gasoline, artificial subsidies

True Cost of Gasoline artificial subsidies: "So you think you're getting a good deal on a tank of gasoline these days? You wouldn't think so if all the oil industry tax subsidies received from the federal and state governments and other costs that went into producing that gallon of gasoline were included in the pump price.
Such external costs push the true price of gasoline as high as $15.14 a gallon, according to a new report released by the International Centre for Technology Assessment.

"In reality, the external costs of using our cars are much higher than we may realize," the Washington-based research group said in its report."

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Abandoned Oil Wells Raise Fears of Pollution  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards

Abandoned Oil Wells Raise Fears of Pollution  |  Peak Oil News and Message Boards: "Abandoned oil field equipment is a common problem in Texas, which is home to vast numbers of old wells that were never properly sealed. Some remain from the heady decades of the early- to mid-20th century, before current standards kicked in. In recent decades, regulators have worked to plug the old wells so they do not act as a conduit for liquid pollutants to enter groundwater. But some fear that the recent surge in oil drilling, brought about by the modern practice of hydraulic fracturing, will set off worrisome encounters with the old wells."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Carbon tax? Already have one, but wrong people are paying it. #autosprawlwelfare

NRDC: The High Cost Of Doing Nothing: "While policymakers in Washington debate what to do about climate change, it is already costing the American people tens of billions of dollars every year, and the costs are rising. In 2012, that price tag was especially high: Climate-related droughts, super storms, hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves, and wildfires in the United States killed 349 people and caused an estimated $139 billion in damages. Across the nation, more than 3,500 monthly weather records for heat, rain, and snow were shattered -- a new, all-time high. While it is difficult to tie individual extreme weather events to climate change, the science is unequivocal: the growing accumulation of carbon pollution ringing our planet turbocharges what once were just natural disasters. Now, their intensity is increasingly man-made.

Last year, the costs of extreme weather in the United States totaled almost 1 percent of the nation's gross domestic product -- equal to roughly half of all the sales taxes states collected in 2012. That cost is, in effect, a "climate disruption tax," equal to a 2.7 percentage point increase in what Americans paid in sales taxes last year."

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Externalities of #autosprawl (deferred costs not applied against profit)

Facebook - Forgotten People: "Approximately two million old car tire's are on the ocean floor off Fort Lauderdale in the US, dumped in the 1970s with the intent of creating an artificial reef. The tires are now scouring the ocean floor and wedging against the natural reef, killing coral."

South Africa - Huge subsidies for auto industry

IPS – Should South African Taxpayers Subsidise Car-Making Robots? | Inter Press Service: "“The capital requirements of the motor industry are very high, and so we need to give a lot of subsidies to attract investment. It is a problem when you have an industry where you employ assembly-line robots, not people,” Schussler said."

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Speeding vehicle of #autosprawlsubsidy, meets brick wall of #peakoil

Indonesian Workers to Strike Over Subsidized Fuel Price Hike | The Jakarta Globe: "Following the government’s plan to raise the price of subsidized gasoline for private vehicle owners, labor unions announced on Wednesday that 10 million workers would strike in August to protest the proposed action. "

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Free charge leads to 71 per cent rise in town centre car parks use (From Oxford Mail)

Free charge leads to 71 per cent rise in town centre car parks use (From Oxford Mail): "The council estimated the cost of providing free parking was £250,000-a-year, but increased charges for stays longer than two hours by 30p help pay for the scheme."

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What are pre-tax and post-tax energy subsidies?

Cheap energy, but at what cost? | Business Spectator: "How common are energy subsidies? Well, subsidies are pervasive.

Let’s start with the ‘pre-tax’ subsidies that arise when prices that consumers pay are below the supply costs of energy. Although relatively few countries have pre-tax subsidies, their magnitude is not trivial: in 2011 they amounted to some $480 billion, or 0.7 per cent of world GDP and 2 per cent of public revenues. And they are much more sizable in certain areas of the world: for example, they amounted to 8.6 per cent of GDP and 21.8 per cent of revenues in the Middle East and North Africa region."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fossil Fuel [direct] Subsidies: A Global Scandal – EcoWatch: Cutting Edge Environmental News Service

Fossil Fuel Subsidies: A Global Scandal – EcoWatch: Cutting Edge Environmental News Service: "The IMF assessment shows that global fossil fuel subsidies—including carbon pollution impacts from fossil fuels—account for almost nine percent of all annual country budgets, amounting to a staggering US$1.9 trillion, much higher than previously estimated. And importantly, says WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative leader Samantha Smith, the report confirms that the poorest 20 percent of developing countries only marginally benefit from energy subsidies."

This report is about direct subsidy only, indirect subsidy, or externalities, are much higher.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011 – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement

Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011 – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement: "The energy game is rigged in favor of fossil fuels because we omit the environmental and health costs of burning coal, oil and natural gas from their prices. Subsidies manipulate the game even further. According to conservative estimates from the Global Subsidies Initiative and the International Energy Agency (IEA), governments around the world spent more than $620 billion to subsidize fossil fuel energy in 2011: some $100 billion for production and $523 billion for consumption. This was 20 percent higher than in 2010, largely because of higher world oil prices."

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bangkok auto-purchase subsidy creates traffic nightmare

Traffic tops governor's to-do list | Bangkok Post: breakingnews: "Hundreds of thousands of new cars have hit the streets in the wake of the government's wildly successful tax-rebate programme for first-car buyers. Some longtime residents believe traffic is as bad as in the mid-1990s before the capital had any mass transit."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Starving the cities to feed the suburbs | Grist

Starving the cities to feed the suburbs | Grist: "And the program is biased against mixed-use development in walkable urban environments: The FHA has historically refused to back mortgages for condos in buildings that are more than 25 percent commercial. They recently raised the limit to 35 percent — a step in the right direction, but on the whole, the program still tilts strongly toward houses (read: suburban-style development)."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shell gets massive, involuntary aid package from Alaska, U.S. Coast Guard, and you | Grist

Shell gets massive, involuntary aid package from Alaska, U.S. Coast Guard, and you | Grist: "When it comes to search-and-rescue, Mosley says not to expect money back. “I have yet to see an incident in which we do search and rescue that we look for reimbursement,” he said. “That’s why the taxpayers pay us to do our jobs.” Among the Coast Guard’s search-and-rescue efforts in this case? Three round-trip Jayhawk helicopter flights out to the Kulluk, each trip rescuing six members of the rig’s 18-person crew. Bringing people back onto the rig to test its integrity. Overflights to assess damage. The Coast Guard also reached out to the Department of Defense to borrow two Chinook helicopters to transport equipment. All of that? On your tab."

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