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.
An update of US energy subsidies being prepared by the US Energy Information Administration, slated to be released on Tuesday, has been delayed. Stephen Lacey, in a blog post at Climate Progress, notes that one source attributed the delay to "quality assurance" issues.
My original information suggesting that Senator Lamar Alexander had put in a new request for EIA to update its work on energy subsidies turns out to have been incorrect. The actual requestors this time were from the House side: Congressmen Jason Chaffetz, Marsha Blackburn, and Roscoe Bartlett. I'm grateful to the office of Congressman Chaffetz for providing a copy of the request they submitted to EIA in this matter. That request is included below.
The debate on US energy policy continues to rage. The reminder from Japan that nuclear reactors can, and sometimes do, have accidents is merely the worst of a number of examples in recent years about the risks and potentialities of various energy pathways. Coal mine and oil rig accidents do kill people and harm the environment; large scale biomass production for energy takes land and water from other uses (including baseline carbon sequestration), and can compete with food consumers as well; there is more natural gas than we thought, but there might be some negative surprises when we frac
Table comparing EIA energy subsidy estimates to a variety of other assessments conducted over the past 30 years in the United States.