The Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress has gradually posted many of its publications going back as early as 1926. Special tax rules for natural resources were a focus of JCT's attention even in its earliest days. By the mid-1920s, standard cost depletion had already been jettisoned for discovery value. Under cost depletion, taxpayers could write off what they'd invested in the mining property. Discovery value depletion introduced subsidization, as it allowed the write off of the value of minerals at the time of discovery, even if that value was more than the investm
This May 2011 piece (What's an Oil Subsidy?) by Nick Loris and Curtis Dubay took the issue of subsidies to the oil and gas industry head-on. I've had discussions with Heritage over a number of years on the issue of energy subsidies, though primarily those dealing with nuclear and ethanol. I hope those discussions will continue, and broad support for eliminating expensive and damaging energy subsidies will require support across the political spectrum.
Numerous energy subsidies exist in the U.S. tax code and have been there for up to a century. In certain cases the circumstances relevant at the time of implementation may no longer exist. Today, for example, the domestic fossil fuel industries (coal, oil, natural gas) are mature and highly profitable, and numerous other energy resources that do not create the negative health and environmental effects associated with the extraction and burning of fossil fuels are available.