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What's Happening

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 64yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What's Happening

Despite mounting public concern about climate change driven by the burning of fossil fuels, we the taxpayers are still subsidizing the fossil-fuel industry to the tune of $210 billion per year. Fossil-fuel subsidies belong to another age, a time when development of oil and coal industries was seen as key to economic progress – not as a threat to the future. Once in place, subsidies lead to special-interest lobbies that fight tooth and nail against eliminating them, even those that were not appropriate in the first place.
In the United States, oil and gas companies are now perhaps the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Between 1990 and 2002, they amassed $154 million in campaign contributions in an effort to protect special tax rates worth billions. In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee in 1999, Donald Lubick, then U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, said in reference to the oil and gas industry, 'This is an industry that probably has a larger tax incentive relative to its size than any other industry in the country.' The fact that such profitable investments are possible is a measure of the corruption of the U.S. political system, and of the capacity of those with money to shape the economy to their advantage.
Subsidies permeate and distort every corner of the global economy. For example, Germany's coal-mining subsidy was initially justified in part by a job-protection measure. At the peak, the country's government was subsidizing the industry to the tune of nearly $90,000 per year for each worker. In purely economic terms, it would have made more sense to close the mines and pay miners not to work.
Many subsidies are largely hidden from taxpayers. This is especially true of the U.S. fossil-fuel industry, which includes a depletion allowance – a tax break based on the eventual exhaustion of declining value) of an oil field – for oil producers. Even more dramatic are the routine U.S. military expenditures to protect access to Middle Eastern oil, which analysts at the RAND Corporation calculated to fall between $30 billion and $60 billion a year, while the oil imported from the region only is worth $20 billion. These expenditures will be much higher as long as the U.S. occupation of Iraq continues.
A 2001 study shows U.S. taxpayers subsidizing automobile use at $257 billion a year, or roughly $2000 per taxpayer. This means that taxpayers who do not own automobiles, including those too poor to afford them, are subsidizing those who do.
On the bright side, this subsidization of fossil fuels provides a reservoir of funds that can be diverted to clean, renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal. Shifting subsidies from fossil fuels to the development of renewable sources is a win-win situation. To subsidize the use of fossil fuels is to subsidize rising temperatures, which lead crop-withering heat waves, melting ice, rising seas and more destructive storms. Perhaps it's time for the world's taxpayers to ask if this how they want their taxes to be used.

From the April/May Mother Earth News

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 72yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that cturtle is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Having coffee I flippeing through the channels when I came to a congressional hearing. Started listening to it, seems the airlines are looking for a bail out so many millions to keep them operating. To recoup their lose from the restictions in the aftermath of 911, so everyone can continue to jet to their favorite vacation spots, etc.
I thought to myself how many elderly can get to the store,because they can't drive & public transportation is nearly non-existant in semi-rural areas. Some wheel chair transports have become available but they hardly fill the need. Remember when people used to car pool, some still do with the price of gas, we can expect it to come back into vogue. Ya, we hve a lot of transportation woes but I don't see that great of a need to subsidize aviation either?
veggie oil substitute?

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"Terrorist or tyrant, few may come to the Truth that both are poor choice."
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