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"You cant say youre committed to fighting climate change if youre still funding oil & coal"

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ProfessionalLeftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:19 PM
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The most recent comprehensive study of US energy subsidies (see graph below) identified $72.5 billion in federal subsidies for fossil fuels between 2002-2008, or just over $10 billion annually.


The principle is simple and clear: You cant really say youre committed to the fight against climate change if youre still funding oil and coal. Many global leaders including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Sir Nicholas Stern, Al Gore, and John Browne (the former Chief Executive of BP) have all spoken out against the ongoing practice of subsidizing fossil fuels with public funds. Obama campaigned on the idea, and the administration has already proposed eliminating some domestic subsidies in the 2010 budget.

But the reality, is, as usual, stickier. Calls for subsidy removal tend to be answered by the oil industry and their allies with dire predictions of rising gas prices and consumer pain thus leading to unemployed politicians. This is because the poor oil industry couldnt possibly have anything less than record profits, and theyll continue to either use our tax money to do it, or theyll jack up prices on us. In other businesses involving addiction, this is called a protection racket.

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