Energy resources vary widely in terms of their capital intensity, reliance on centralized networks, environmental impacts, and energy security profiles. Although the policies of greatest import to a particular energy option may differ, their aggregate impact is significant. Subsidies to conventional fuels can slow research into emerging technologies, thereby delaying their commercialization. Subsidies and exemptions to polluting fuels reduce the incentive to develop and deploy cleaner alternatives.
It's been almost two years since Earth Track and Oil Change International released a detailed review of oil and gas subsidies to Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). The paper documented the favored exemptions that MLPs receive from standard corporate tax rules and how they primarily benefitted oil and gas companies; the increasing use of IRS private letter rulings to broaden the range of activities able to shelter natural resource-related income from corp
Special legislative provisions have allowed a select group of industries to operate as tax-favored publicly-traded partnerships (PTPs) more than 25 years after Congress stripped eligibility for most sectors of the economy. These firms, organized as Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), are heavily concentrated in the oil and gas industry. Selective access to valuable tax preferences distorts energy markets and creates impediments for substitute, non-fossil, forms of power, heating, and transport fuels.
Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) are a special corporate form, used primarily by natural resource industries. They enable firms to both raise capital on public equity markets and to pay zero corporate income taxes. MLPs deserve far more scrutiny as energy subsidies than they have received to date. Although the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) excluded them from their most recent study of US energy subsidies on the grounds that other industries also benefit (so the subsidies are not "energy-specific"), EIA's logic is weak. Based on data compiled by the National Association o
Using an open architecture approach, the Energy Tax Breaks Wiki hopes to tabulate information on the applicablity and value of various federal tax breaks to energy in the United States. The site is a joint project of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law and the Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.
The acrimony on increasing the debt ceiling is hitting a fevered pitch, and the likelihood of a technical default on US debt is unfortunately becoming a larger possibility each day. I wondered whether there was anything one could learn by looking at the personal financial filings of some of the people opposed to raising the ceiling and/or incorporating increased revenues in stabilizing the country. Does the way they run their portfolios match or conflict with what they are advocating at the national level? Are there direct or potential conflicts of interest?
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.
Last week, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) launched an important project to assess the impact of the federal tax code on greenhouse gas emissions (ghg). Tax expenditures now total more than $1 trillion per year, and trigger a wide variety of changes in the level and distribution of economic activity relative to a more neutral tax baseline. Understanding whether these subsidies also exacerbate (or in some cases lessen) ghg emissions is increasingly important.
Conspicuously absent from industry press releases and briefing memos touting nuclear power’s potential as a solution to global warming is any mention of the industry’s long and expensive history of taxpayer subsidies and excessive charges to utility ratepayers. These subsidies not only enabled the nation’s existing reactors to be built in the first place, but have also supported their operation for decades.
The Democratic Staff of the Committee on Natural Resources of the U.S.