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Where Have All The Subsidies Gone?
I saw a legislator on CNN yesterday talking about how renewable energy gets a huge amount of money in government subsidies and how that ought to be taken away. That made me wonder just how much fossil and nuclear fuels receive in subsidies and how much Exxon raked in while we were all paying 4$ a gallon for gasoline during their 14 billion dollar profit quarter last year.
I found a page from the Energy Information Agency which explains subsidies and gives some handy charts and general figures in relation to type of energy production and how much each got in federal money. If you look at just the total amount received Refined Coal is the obvious champ taking in 2.156 billion dollars with Nuclear a close runner up at 1.267 billion.
In the above chart it looks as though renewables got the biggest share but you have to remember that there are many types of energy production included under the general heading of “renewables”. Things such as Ethanol, Biomass, Solar and Wind are all lumped together in the chart while Coal, Petroleum and Nuclear are given separate categories. If we lump all traditional (fossil/nuclear) fuel sources together and compare that figure to the conglomerate “renewables” it is apparent that traditional fuels definitely got the lions share of available government handouts.
Renewables: 4.875 Billion
Coal/Oil/Nuclear: 7.162 Billion
I did not factor end use subsidies into this on either side because they can apply to either type of fuel in the form of energy conservation efforts, etc.
Clearly traditional energy sources were the big winner in total dollars collected in the form of government subsidies. So the next time someone starts crying about alternative energy subsidies you will know what they aren’t saying…