Saturday, November 29, 2008
The taxpayers of America (you and I) are subsidizing the fossil-fuel industry at the rate of over $220 billion dollars per year. Fossil-fuel subsidies are an archaic and out dated practice. At one time in this country we needed to develop oil and coal for progress. This is no longer the case, fossil fuel burning has become a threat to our very way of life. Subsidies have led to special interest groups (lobbies) whose only agenda is to keep the status quo. In the last decade of the last century oil and gas companies have $154 million dollars in campaign contributions in order to protect special tax rates that save them billions of dollars. The oil industry has larger tax incentives in relation to it's size than any other industry. This is a vile and evil system that is rewarding those who would destroy our planet. We are not vile or evil people for the most part, let us get rid of the evil in our system. We however, are not the only ones subsidizing the fossil fuel dynasty. German subsidies for the coal mining industry is (in their minds) justified by saying it is a job protection measure. At it's worst they were subsidizing that industry at $90,000 dollars per year/per worker. They could have paid each miner half of that money to stay home and not mine coal and come out ahead. There are hidden subsidies. The oil industry gets a tax break based on the fact that an oil field will eventually run out of oil! The U.S. military spends over $60 billion dollars per year (according to the RAND Corporation) to protect access to oil in the middle east. This oil is only worth around $25 billion dollars. The $60 billion will increase as long as we continue the senseless war in Iraq. Seven years ago a study showed that our government used taxpayer dollars to subsidize internal combustion engine automobiles. At that time the amount of the subsidy was around $257 billion dollars. Even if you do not own an automobile or are too poor to afford one, you are helping to subsidize those who do and can. We need to ask our leaders about this policy and change course. Now the automobile industry is requesting a $25 billion dollar bailout. They approached the congress and the senate without a viable plan and simply asked for the money. They are at the end of their reign, they should be forced to do what they could have done 10-15 years ago. They should not receive a bailout unless they acquiesce. These funds could subsidize clean and renewable energy sources, along with electric automobiles which would not destroy our environment. If that is not enough, this energy could be had at a small fraction of the cost of utilizing fossil fuels.