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Thread: IEA Report Ranks U.S. Low Among Nations Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

  1. #1
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    IEA Report Ranks U.S. Low Among Nations Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

    November 22, 2010

    IEA Report Ranks U.S. Low Among Nations Subsidizing Fossil Fuels
    Washington, DC, November 22, 2010 - U.S. subsidies of fossil fuel are far lower than most other nations' subsidies, according to a new analysis from the Tax Foundation of an annual report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    In advance of the G-20 meeting in Seoul, the IEA released its annual World Energy Outlook, a 738-page analysis of the global energy market that is highly critical of governments that subsidize fossil fuels.

    "The U.S. doesn't even give enough subsidies to oil, gas or coal to register on a worldwide ranking of the biggest subsidizers," says Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge. "Yet the Obama Administration and Senate Majority Leader Reid continue their campaign to eliminate not only the few tax breaks that fossil fuel providers currently receive, but to withhold from them the ordinary tax treatment of business expenditures that many corporate taxpayers benefit from."

    The report is Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact, No. 252, "IEA Study Ranks Nations' Subsidies to Fossil Fuel Consumption," at

    The IEA says governments cite five major reasons for their fossil fuel subsidies: (1) alleviating energy poverty, (2) boosting domestic supply, (3) redistributing natural resource wealth, (4) protecting employment, and (5) protecting the environment.

    Internationally, subsidies for fossil fuels far outweigh other energy subsidies. According to the IEA, support for renewables totaled $57 billion in 2009, only 18 percent of the value of fossil-fuel consumption subsidies.

    "Giving away gasoline to low-income people and protecting the employment of coal miners are both common government policies, but the U.S. has leaned much more heavily toward environmental protection," says Hodge. "The $2.8 billion in U.S. tax breaks for oil and gas firms is much smaller than the $11.3 billion in tax breaks we are funneling into green energy such as wind and solar power production."

    When the IEA measures fossil fuel subsidies as a share of gross domestic product, the biggest subsidizers are Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Even when measuring in dollars, which would be expected to push the U.S. up when compared to less wealthy nations, the IEA doesn't list the U.S. among the top 25 subsidizers. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India and China rank 1-2-3-4-5 as the nations offering the largest subsidies in billions of dollars.

    Since taxes are the opposite of subsidies, Hodge cites the impressive amounts collected from U.S. oil and gas firms. Between 1981 and 2008, the oil industry paid more than $388 billion to the federal and state governments in corporate income taxes and almost twice that amount, $683 billion, to foreign governments.

    "The demands from the Administration and its allies in Congress for eliminating what little subsidies the U.S. provides," concludes Hodge, "seem out of proportion. The Administration should focus on making the U.S. more competitive for corporate activities instead of targeting energy firms for punitive tax treatment."

    The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937.

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  2. #2
    Atypical is offline

    This Is The "Tax Foundation"

    November 29, 2010

    Obama Should Cut the Corporate Tax Rate

    If Obama and his advisors are looking for a Clintonesque opportunity to move back to the center in a way that would make a real difference to the economy, he should partner with Republicans to cut the corporate tax rate and reform how we tax the foreign profits of U.S. companies. The evidence suggests that such reforms would not only be good for the long-term growth of the economy, but would improve workers' wages and living standards over time, says Scott A. Hodge of Forbes magazine.

    A dramatic cut in the corporate tax rate could be the best tonic for the ailing economy.

    Next to Japan, the United States imposes the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized country at nearly 40 percent (combining the federal and state rates).
    A 2008 report by economists at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) determined that the corporate income tax is the most harmful tax for long-term economic growth.
    High personal income taxes were found to be the second-most harmful tax for long-term growth, which would argue for not allowing the Bush cuts to expire on the "rich" as President Obama proposes.

    The least harmful taxes for growth, according to OECD economists, are consumption taxes and property taxes.

    Economic research also finds that because capital is mobile but workers are not, labor bears a disproportionate share of the economic burden of corporate taxes -- as much as 70 percent by some estimates. Economists such as Kevin Hassett at the American Enterprise Institute have found that workers in countries that have cut their corporate rates have seen faster growth in wages than workers in countries that have not cut their corporate taxes. (A recent Tax Foundation study found a similar relationship in our 50 states).

    Thus, Obama can legitimately sell a deep corporate rate cut as being prolabor because not only will it lead to an increase in wages and living standards, it will most likely lead to an increase in jobs because America will be a more attractive place for inbound investment, says Hodge.

    Source: Scott A. Hodge, "Obama Should Cut the Corporate Tax Rate," Forbes, November 22, 2010.

    From the Tax Foundation Site - Testimonials

    Facts and Figures on Government Finance is the most detailed and useful statistical portrait of where the spending goes and how it is financed." —Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate in Economics

    "[The Tax Foundation's] tireless efforts to educate the public about America's tax burden have made a big difference here in Washington, and throughout the fifty states. Our tax policies are better for it, and our economy is stronger." —U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow

    "Through its outreach efforts and programs such as Tax Freedom Day, the Tax Foundation strives to promote tax reform designed to lessen the tax burden that Americans face today.... And I am grateful for the vast assistance and support that the Tax Foundation provided over the years in the battle for reform." —Dick Armey, Former Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives

    Oh, by the way, the following post is called boilerplate - an orgs statement of mission. It is meant
    to refute this post.
    Read this one to see what they practice and really say. Hodge is their "leader". And notice the people above that they use to promote their agenda. Right-wing apologists all.

    For those that care anything about fairness there are many posts by me and Havakasha re taxes, wealth inequality and its ramifications, corporate malfeasance and conservative/libertarian lies. As I have said many, many times, dems do not have all the answers by far but cons currently have none.
    Last edited by Atypical; 12-02-2010 at 07:48 PM.

  3. #3
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    This is the Tax Foundation

    About the Tax Foundation

    Our Mission
    The mission of the Tax Foundation is to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government. From its founding in 1937, the Tax Foundation has been grounded in the belief that the dissemination of basic information about government finance is the foundation of sound policy in a free society.

    What Do We Stand For?
    As a nonpartisan educational organization, the Tax Foundation has earned a reputation for independence and credibility. However, it is not devoid of perspective. All Tax Foundation research is guided by the following principles of sound tax policy, which should serve as touchstones for good tax policy everywhere:

    Administrative costs are a loss to society, and complicated taxation undermines voluntary compliance by creating incentives to shelter and disguise income.

    Tax legislation should be based on sound legislative procedures and careful analysis. A good tax system requires informed taxpayers who understand how tax assessment, collection, and compliance works. There should be open hearings and revenue estimates should be fully explained and replicable.

    The fewer economic decisions that are made for tax reasons, the better. The primary purpose of taxes is to raise needed revenue, not to micromanage the economy. The tax system should not favor certain industries, activities, or products.

    When tax laws are in constant flux, long-range financial planning is difficult. Lawmakers should avoid enacting temporary tax laws, including tax holidays and amnesties.

    No Retroactivity:
    As a corollary to the principle of stability, taxpayers should rely with confidence on the law as it exists when contracts are signed and transactions made.

    Broad Bases and Low Rates: As a corollary to the principle of neutrality, lawmakers should avoid enacting targeted deductions, credits and exclusions. If such tax preferences are few, substantial revenue can be raised with low tax rates. Broad-based taxes can also produce relatively stable tax revenues from year to year.

    How Should Journalists Describe Us?
    The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C.

    The Tax Foundation Story
    The year was 1937, the heart of the Great Depression. During the previous decade, first under Herbert Hoover, then under Franklin Roosevelt, federal spending had climbed 170 percent; over the previous five years internal revenue collections had risen 198 percent.

    Concerned about the effect such expansion might have on private sector growth, a small group of business executives gathered in New York City to discuss how they could monitor fiscal activities at all levels of government and convey the information to the general public. They decided to launch an organization which, through research and analysis, could inform and educate Americans using objective, reliable data on government finance.

    In the subsequent seven decades, the Tax Foundation has been a national leader in promoting a sense of "tax consciousness" in the public. Its distribution of information has helped provide policy makers with the lay of the land in the ongoing debate over tax and budget policies, as well as with a greater understanding of the policies proposed.

    In its seven decades the Tax Foundation has earned a reputation for its independence in gathering data and publishing information on the public sector in an objective, unbiased fashion. As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization, the Tax Foundation exists on voluntary contributions from philanthropic foundations, corporations, and individuals across the country. Please help support our mission—click here to learn how.
    Last edited by SiriuslyLong; 12-02-2010 at 07:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Havakasha is offline
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    Joined: Sep 2009 Posts: 5,358
    I love when S&L picks a right wing foundation to give us "facts" of interpretation of an IAE
    report on fossil fuel subsidies. LOL

    Why not put the IAE report here. Afterall doesnt it say that world gives too many subsidies to
    fossil fuels?

    Clean energy gets fewer subsidies, less investment than fossil fuels, report says
    November 30, 2010 | 12:24 pm
    Energy from fossil fuel gets 12 times more in subsidies worldwide than sustainable energy, says a new report from the USC Marshall School of Business.

    That discrepancy, as well as other barriers including high clean-tech start-up costs and low prices for products, keep green investment from booming, according to a group of MBA students from the school.

    Without clear global policies on how to regulate and incentivize green business and technology, investors aren’t making any long-term bets on the industry, which is also less lucrative than the fossil fuel market.

    And without ways to store the energy created by renewable sources such as solar or wind, companies may avoid innovating new generation technologies at all, the students found.

    “Inertia in the form of myopia, misperception, and dulled motivation, at the economy, firm, and consumer levels creates resistance to change and constrains solution-seeking to incremental improvements of known technologies rather than disruptive breakthrough innovations needed,” they wrote in their executive summary.

    The team presented their findings recently in Yokohama, Japan, to an advisory council of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, a 21-nation group known as APEC. The researchers made their conclusions based on nearly 200 interviews with business leaders in 14 countries.

    They encouraged governments to help make renewable energy attractive to consumers and to support clean-tech research efforts.
    Last edited by Havakasha; 12-02-2010 at 08:48 PM.

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