A Historical Necessity: Repeal All Domestic Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Sep 13, 2021 | PDA News, Press Release

By Alan Minsky, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America

When, earlier today, the House Ways and Means Committee released a draft of a section of the Reconciliation Infrastructure Bill that addresses the Climate Emergency, we were thrilled to see so many international fossil fuel subsidies repealed.

However, we were equally dismayed that these were not matched by the repeal of major domestic fossil fuel subsidies.

For us, at PDA, the fact of the climate emergency makes the repeal of these subsidies a historical necessity. The United States of America simply cannot present itself at the upcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow as a leader in fighting the climate emergency if it continues to actively subsidize fossil fuel production, the primary cause of this unprecedented global crisis.

We call upon Members of the Ways and Means Committee to repeal the following subsidies in the next draft of the bill:

  • A subsidy enacted in 1916 (Sections 263(c) and 291) allowing many fossil fuel producers to deduct 100 percent of many costs associated with extraction;
  • A subsidy enacted in 1926 (Sections 611 through 613A and 291) that allows many producers to deduct 15 percent of gross income annually, which often results in a deduction greater than the value of actual assets;
  • A tax credit for “carbon capture and sequestration” (Section 45Q), an unrealized, faulty technological process that is falsely characterized by the industry as a solution to toxic climate emissions

Repealing these subsidies will not only generate billions of dollars that can help fund the innumerable excellent programs in the $3.5 Trillion package; it will break the century-long symbiotic relationship between the U S Government and the fossil fuel industry – and clarify our commitment to building a renewable energy future.

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