A Review of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming

Although data on fossil fuel subsidies around the world have been growing, most of this information focuses on national level policies.  The thousands of subsidies at the state, provincial or local levels are largely untracked -- with little visibility either in the United States or in most other countries of the world. 

Such a large information gap is unfortunate:  in the aggregate, sub-national subsidies transfer billions of dollars per year to fossil fuel industries just like their federal counter-parts.  They are additive to federal supports, further distorting the economics of specific projects and investment incentives across energy options.  

This review provides a detailed inventory of fossil fuel subsidies in the US states of Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.  The report provides a clear illustration of how pervasive these subsidies are.  It also demonstrates the degree to which powerful fossil fuel industries are able not only to access wide ranging energy-specific subsidies, but also to capture a significant share of more general state incentive programs as well.    

Patterns in the subsidies across the states evaluated offer some high value areas for reform -- changes that would not only improve energy market functioning and environmental quality, but provide much needed revenues to state Treasuries as well.  In addition to a review of these opportunities for reform, the report provides text descriptions of the subsidy programs in each state, and detailed tables quantifying their value when it was possible to do so.

This analysis was partially funded by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), though neither OECD nor its member states is responsible for its content.