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Big Oil Subsidies

In today’s edition of “show me” … inspired by a question from a friend last night:

Has there ever been a traditional fossil fuel electricity producer that has received a direct subsidy payment like that which wind gets under the PTC?

I did not have an answer. The closest I can think of is the Carter Administration’s push for coal as a national security measure but am not sure of those details. I am certainly sure that no current fossil fuel is directly subsidized despite what you read in the popular press and alarmist sites – what they are calling subsidies are arcane attributes of tax accounting that are available to all companies who qualify.

So remember my weekend advice, if you want to be unwelcome at a party this weekend, keep asking for evidence.

One Response to “Big Oil Subsidies”

  1. Trapper_John says:

    It’s a theme throughout many progressive takes I have read in the last 5 years–not taxing something is the same as subsidizing it. Remember Obama’s pledge to find “Spending reductions in the tax code”? I recently read an article exclaiming that the government should stop subsidizing organized religion (by removing their tax-exempt status). The move to interchangeability feels intentional.

    I always want to be charitable in my interpretation of views from people who disagree with me, but I have no idea how to do that with this theme. How is this anything but, “Everything you make belongs to us, we let you keep some out of charity or because it suits our needs”? Giving = not taking. When I point this out, I get disinvited to dinner parties amidst mumbles of “semantics”.

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