How much money will you give to the fossil fuel industry today?
A lot — even if you don’t fill up your gas tank. $30 million of our tax dollars go to oil, coal and gas polluters every day in the form of subsidies, tax breaks and loopholes.
Fifteen days ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act to end these wasteful giveaways.
Congress’ inaction has already cost us nearly half a billion dollars, and the price goes up another $30 million every day.
Congress’ continued inaction will cost us $110 billion over ten years, in needless giveaways to the most profitable on the planet.
Just the five largest oil companies alone made more than $1 trillion in profits, just in the last five years. Some of these companies paid no taxes for some of these years.1
These fossil fuel companies doesn’t need the extra help. But for them, the math is very simple:
• Oil, gas and coal companies gave $106,993,6862 in direct campaign contributions to Congress, and spent $1,077,417,6933,4 on lobbying over the last 10 years.
• Congress gives them $110,000,000,000 of our money in polluter welfare over the next 10 years.
Polluters get a huge return on their investment. We pay the price.
As Republicans and some Democrats continue using growing budget deficits to call for brutal cuts to vital social programs, it is astonishing and shameful that these same politicians are protecting billions upon billions in wasteful polluter welfare to the richest, most dangerous industry on the planet.
The details of these subsidies and giveaways are just unbelievable:
We lose $12 billion dollars by allowing fossil fuel polluters to take deductions aimed at helping American manufacturers, by claiming they are manufacturers. We lose $10.6 billion by not setting fair royalties for oil drilling leases in federal waters — currently we give many leases away for free! We lose $6.8 billion by subsidizing oil-spills; allowing companies like BP to deduct billions in clean-up costs from its tax bill after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that did catastrophic damage to the Gulf of Mexico.5
Those are just a few of the $110 billion worth of giveaways that the End Polluter Welfare Act would end. And unlike other tax breaks which expire after a set time period, the fossil fuel industry has rigged the system so that many of their giveaways will continue indefinitely if Congress fails to act.
Of course, the biggest loophole of all remains wide open — that which allows oil, gas and coal companies to freely dump climate-change causing greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere, at no cost to them whatsoever.
Our government is supposed to subsidize programs and behaviors that we want to encourage, for the good of our nation. Yet as our planet heats up, we continue subsidizing the cash-rich fossil fuel companies endangering our future at six times the rate of the renewable energy investments that are our best hope.
We cannot afford any of this. And as many in Congress continue defending these needless giveaways, we must let them know that, for the sake of their jobs, they cannot afford it either.
Click HERE to automatically sign the petition:
1. “Let’s end ‘polluter welfare’” Sen. Sanders and Rep. Ellison, 5/18/12
2. “Dirtiest congresses,” Dirty Energy Money
3. Lobbying: Oil and Gas, Open Secrets
4. Lobbying: Coal Mining, Open Secrets
5. “End Polluter Welfare Act,” 350