USA

Effect of government subsidies for upstream oil infrastructure on U.S. oil production and global CO2 emissions

The United States now produces as much crude oil as ever – over 3.4 billion barrels in 2015, just shy of the 3.5 billion record set in 1970. Indeed, the U.S. has become the world’s No. 1 oil and gas producer. The oil production boom has been aided by tax provisions and other subsidies that support private investment in infrastructure for oil exploration and development. Federal tax preferences, for example, enable oil and gas producers to deduct capital expenditures faster, or at greater levels, than standard tax accounting rules typically allow, boosting investment returns.

EIA Energy Subsidy Estimates: A Review of Assumptions and Omissions

This Review provides the most detailed look to date at gaps in federal tracking of energy subsidies.  In addition to evaluating the research approach used by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Review assesses how key assumptions and omissions in EIA's work resulted in a substantial undercounting of federal energy subsidies and an inaccurate portrayal of subsidy distribution across fuels.  EIA estimates are also placed in the context of other assessments of domestic energy subsidies conducted over the past thirty years.

Earth Track Written Testimony on Federal Energy-Related Tax Policy and its Effects on Markets, Prices, and Consumers

Within the United States, the cost of energy subsidies to taxpayers is both substantial and often not properly documented.  Regular review to evaluate the fiscal costs of these policies; their impact on market structure, competiveness, and environmental quality; and their ability to achieve stated goals is prudent. 

My comments focus on three main issues:

Illuminating the Hidden Costs of Coal: How the Interior Department Can Use Economic Tools to Modernize the Federal Coal Program

This report aims to illuminate some of the hidden costs of coal production, which Interior should account for in order to modernize the federal coal program and earn a more fair return. If Interior had used a higher royalty rate that accounts for even a fraction of the public costs of mining, it could have earned an additional $2 billion from 2009 to 2013, from coal production in four western states-Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Utah.

To modernize the coal program and earn a more fair return, Interior should:

A Framework for Assessing Thermal Coal Production Subsidies

There has been much discussion of fossil fuel subsidies as both an inefficient use of public tax dollars and a barrier to the scaling up of low- and no-carbon energy sources. As "green" incentives are reduced, the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies becomes even more urgent in order to reduce market distortions and ensure a level playing field in energy markets. Developing-world subsidies to fossil fuel consumption have attracted the most attention to date. However, fossil fuels also benefit from production subsidies in both developed and developing countries.

Killing the Competition: The Nuclear Power Agenda to Block Climate Action, Stop Renewable Energy, and Subsidize Old Reactors

The electric utility industry has begun an aggressive push to change energy policy in the United States to favor nuclear power. Led by the country's largest nuclear generators, Exelon and Entergy, this campaign represents what would be the single largest change in energy policy in twenty years. While their intent is to make nuclear the preferred energy source, the changes they seek necessarily go far beyond that. They would also support coal and natural gas-fired electricity generation, and block the growth of renewable energyand attempts to address climate change.

Federal Disincentives: A Study of Federal Tax Subsidies and Other Programs Affecting Virgin Industries and Recycling

A number of disincentives to recycling have been frequently, especially in analyses sponsored by EPA in the late 1970's, as impeding the expansion of materials recovery. The most commonly cited examples include the tax code, federal subsidies for natural resource development, trade policies and discriminatory freight rates.

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