Stop Catastrophic Climate Change in Congress

Aug 1, 2021 | PDA Blog

By Randy Shannon, PDA-PA coordinator

The US Congress is an important battleground in the campaign to slow, stop, and reverse global warming induced catastrophic climate change. The dumping of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is overwhelming planet Earth.

The financial weight of the coal, oil, and gas industries and their Wall Street owners floods Capitol Hill with their thousands of lobbyists. They write legislation then lobby and threaten Congress to pass dozens of laws that transfer public funds to their industry. These funds are transferred in numerous ways – tax credits, depletion allowances, interest rebates, research funds, loan guarantees, amortization, foreign tax credits, oil spill deductions, income tax exemptions, credits for coal washing.

The carbon polluting industry’s control of Congress guarantees that taxpayers, and actually all citizens, directly subsidize global warming. And we are increasingly victimized by the effects of catastrophic climate change – increased hurricanes, floods, fires; rising ocean levels; melting arctic ice with consequent growing release of methane hydrates that accelerate global warming.

On July 28 Rep. Michael Doyle PA-18 introduced HR4758, co-sponsored by Rep. Conor Lamb PA-17, Mike Kelly PA-16, and Bill Huizenga MI-2. This bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend and modify the section 45 credit for refined coal from steel industry fuel, and for other purposes.” This bill has not been printed yet, so the details are not yet available. (

What is clear is these representatives want to serve Wall Street interests by forcing the public to increase subsidies for carbon burning. Carbon burning is burning the bridges to a sustainable future. Stopping global warming and catastrophic climate change starts right here, right now. This bill must be withdrawn or defeated by any means necessary.

On March 19 a member of the progressive “Squad” in Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar has introduced HR2102 “To eliminate certain subsidies for fossil-fuel production.” The title of the bill is “End Polluter Welfare Act.” This bill singles out 39 specific laws that force the public to subsidize carbon burning and its consequences so that these industries face no, low, or reduced cost for their polluting enterprises. This bill will increase the competitive position of alternative renewable energy. It will also reduce carbon burning. Finally it will generate demand for thousands of new jobs in the renewable energy industry.

HR2102, the End Polluter Welfare Act, eliminates section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that Reps. Doyle, Lamb, Kelly, and Huizenga want to extend. HR2102 has 21 co-sponsors and was referred to seven House committees: Ways&Means, Natural Resources, Transportation&Infrastructure, Financial Services, ScienceSpace&Technology, Agriculture, Energy&Commerce.

Our time for action is now. We cannot afford to delay. The future we leave to coming generations is at stake. We must force Doyle, Lamb, et al to end their servitude to the big banks that own the carbon burning industries and work for a sustainable future.

1 Comment

  1. Randy Shannon

    Legislation: HB 2102 End Polluter Welfare Act of 2021

    Main Talking Points

    Eliminates 50 subsidies to the fossil fuel industry through multiple amendments and repeals of current tax law providing $150 billion in savings over a 10 year period
    Removes caps on liability for spills from corporations entirely
    Offshore drilling capped @ $75 million
    Tar Sands pipeline spills capped @ $350 million
    Rescinds and prohibits taxpayer funding via World Bank
    Eliminates R+D through Dept of Energy and Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy
    Eliminate a 1951 rule that allows coal companies to treat coal mine income as capital gain instead of regular income for a lower tax rate
    Increase oil spill liability trust fund financing rate and expand to tar sand oil which is currently exempt
    End deductions for spill damage and clean up expenses
    Impose a 13% excise tax on offshore drilling. A loophole from the 90s provided leases without royalty payments to encourage drilling with no change written into the lease for an increase when prices increased.
    Permanently increase excise tax rate on coal for Black Lung Disability Trust Fund to $1.38/ton for underground coal and $.69/ton for surface mined coal. Will keep the fund solvent through 2050.
    Eliminates ability of oil and gas companies operating overseas to classify royalty payments to foreign governments as taxes
    Designates Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming as a coal producing region to give federal government more authority to ensure a fair return on leases. Also requires BLM to provide a market value study of PRB to determine if taxpayers are being given a fair return on these leases
    Requires the Treasury Department to identify any additional fossil fuel subsidies not already eliminated in this bill and issue a report to Congress quantifying the cost to the taxpayer