Resource Library of Subsidy Documents

Search here for subsidy-related publications from Earth Track and from the selected other organizations working in the area.

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Written by: Doug KoplowPosted on: 8/28/2018
For many years, policy discussions have focused on strategies to bring down greenhouse gas emissions using taxes, permits and other regulatory or statutory limits.  Yet fossil fuel markets across the world remain littered with government programs subsidizing these emissions.  The subsidies are… Read More
Written by: Doug Koplow, Earth Track, Inc.Posted on: 5/14/2018
In its proposed tariffs to remove potential distortions caused by subsidies in capacity markets, PJM includes a number of limitations and exclusions that appear to result in unequal evaluation of subsidies across different fuel cycles. This will likely impede PJM’s core objective of ensuring… Read More
Written by: Doug KoplowPosted on: 11/30/2017
This review assesses the House and Senate tax reform proposals as they relate to the energy sector. Three main areas are examined: cross-cutting changes to tax rates or baselines and whether some of them will have disproportionate or distortionary impacts on particular fuels; specific energy tax… Read More
Written by: Peter Erickson, Adrian Down, Michael Lazarus and Doug KoplowPosted on: 10/18/2017
Countries in the G20 have committed to phase out ‘inefficient’ fossil fuel subsidies. However, there remains a limited understanding of how subsidy removal would affect fossil fuel investment returns and production, particularly for subsidies to producers. Here, we assess the impact of major… Read More
Written by: Doug Koplow (Earth Track, Inc.)Posted on: 10/18/2017
This chapter explores global subsidies to energy.  These subsidies cost hundreds of billions of dollars per year, often skewing market decisions in ways detrimental to environmental quality and social welfare. Subsidy reform could provide large fiscal and  environmental gains, although remains… Read More
Written by: Doug KoplowPosted on: 8/10/2017
Presentation at the NPEC Public Policy Fellowship Retreat in March 2017.  The meeting was convened and hosted by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center.  The slides evaluates many of the arguments people make to support increased subsidies to nuclear and finds them wanting.
Written by: Amory LovinsPosted on: 7/21/2017
All 14 current rationales for mandating or subsidizing uncompetitive coal and nuclear plants lack technical merit or would favor competitors instead. Subsidizing distressed nuclear plants typically saves less carbon than closing them and reinvesting their saved operating cost into severalfold-… Read More
Written by: Alex Doukas, Kate DeAngelis, and Nicole GhioPosted on: 7/21/2017
The best available science shows an urgent need to keep global temperature increases below 1.5°C to avoid severe disruptions to people and ecosystems. Recent analysis shows that burning the reserves in already operating oil and gas fields alone, even if coal mining is completely phased out, would… Read More
Posted on: 7/21/2017
Existing trade agreements have strict rules, some enforcement mechanisms, and the majority of the world's nations already as signatories.  They offer a potentially powerful leverage point to address a wide array of subsidies to energy, including those flowing to fossil fuels.  In practice, the… Read More
Published: May 22 2017
Written by: Doug Koplow, Earth TrackPosted on: 7/20/2017
PJM Interconnection is the regional transmission operator (RTO) serving more than 60 million customers in 13 states and the District of Columbia, mostly in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.  Incumbent base load generators have complained that subsidies to renewable resources have been… Read More
Written by: Alex Doukas, Shakuntala Makhijani, and Janet RedmanPosted on: 5/31/2017
The federal government of the United States remains custodian and manager of a large amount of fossil fuels on public lands.  While sales of minerals do bring in some revenue to the government, there are many elements of federal management that result in artificially low realized revenues for… Read More
Written by: Shelagh Whitley, Laurie van der Burg, Leah Worrall and Sejal PatelPosted on: 5/31/2017
Subsidies to coal in 10 countries responsible for 84% of Europe’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions remain extensive.  These include France, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK). Despite significant commitments to… Read More
Written by: Doug KoplowPosted on: 5/4/2017
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… Read More
Written by: Doug KoplowPosted on: 3/23/2017
This presentation provides an overview of the long history of fossil fuel subsidies in the United States, key milestones in reporting transparency, and remaining data challenges in assessing and quantifying the many pathways that continue to subsidize fossil fuel extraction and consumption today.… Read More
Written by: Gabriela Inchauste and David G. Victor, EditorsPosted on: 3/16/2017
This book proposes a simple framework for understanding the political economy of subsidy reform and applies it to four in-depth country studies covering more than 30 distinct episodes of reform. Five key lessons emerge. First, energy subsidies often follow a life cycle, beginning as a way to… Read More
Written by: Benjamin K. SovacoolPosted on: 3/16/2017
This article provides a review of global energy subsidies—of definitions and estimation techniques, their type and scope, their drawbacks, and effective ways to reform them. Based on an assessment of both policy reports and peer-reviewed studies, this article presents evidence that energy subsidies… Read More
Written by: Peter Erickson, Adrian Down, Michael Lazarus, and Doug Koplow
Posted on: 1/9/2017
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… Read More
Written by: Main Authors: Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt; Other contributors: Julie Hazemann, Tadahiro Katsuta, M.V. Ramana, Ian Fairlie, Fulcieri Maltini, and Steve ThomasPosted on: 8/12/2016
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 (WNISR) provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on operation, production and construction. The WNISR assesses the status of new-build programs in current nuclear countries as well as in potential newcomer… Read More
Written by: Jayni Foley Hein, Ben Snow, Sean Stefanik, and Lauren WebbPosted on: 8/10/2016
Federal law requires coal companies to reclaim and restore land and water resources that have been degraded by mining. But at many sites, reclamation occurs slowly, if it all. Mining companies are required to post performance bonds to ensure the successful completion of reclamation efforts should… Read More
Written by: Mark Fulton, Doug Koplow, Reid Capalino, Andrew GrantPosted on: 8/1/2016
In January 2016 the US Secretary of the Interior announced a moratorium on new coal leasing on public lands pending completion of a comprehensive review. Nearly 90% of coal produced from public lands is from leases in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana. In this paper, produced by… Read More