Fossil fuels are subsidized by the U.S. federal and state governments, and removing these highly inefficient subsidies should be the first priority of fiscally responsible climate, energy, and tax reform policies.
This 2017 report from Oil Change International (OCI) inventories subsidies to the fossil fuel industry by U.S. federal and state governments at the time of writing. Among the key findings of the report:
- The United States federal and state governments gave away $20.5 billion a year on average in 2015 and 2016 in production subsidies to the oil, gas, and coal industries, including $14.7 billion in federal subsidies and $5.8 billion through state-level incentives.
- Federal and state governments spent on average more than $4 billion annually incentivizing coal production in 2015 and 2016. Oil and gas production was underwritten with more than $16 billion in corporate handouts on average per year during that period.
- The U.S. spent on average $2.5 billion annually subsidizing the exploration of new fossil fuel resources in 2015 and 2016.
OCI believes that removing these highly inefficient subsidies should be the first priority of fiscally responsible climate, energy, and tax reform policies. The report outlines several recommendations for lawmakers at all levels of government in order to begin this process.
Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the ongoing transition to clean energy. A recent financial disclosure can be found here.