September 29, 2020

Casten, Blumenauer Introduce Bill to End Taxpayer Subsidies to Oil and Gas Companies ?for Climate Change-Causing Fossil Fuels

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Sean Casten (IL-06) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) introduced the End Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies Act of 2020, which would remove unfair fossil fuel tax breaks. Specifically, the legislation would eliminate 11 provisions in the tax code that unfairly benefit oil and gas companies.

Casten said, "The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. We've seen fires rage across the West and hurricanes batter the Gulf Coast, all just in the past few months. Ending fossil fuel subsidies is an important step to take in combating climate change. It's also an important step in increasing the competitiveness of United States energy markets and this bill manages to accomplish both while saving billions of taxpayer dollars every year."

"Over a million acres burned in Oregon due to unprecedented wildfires this year. It's unconscionable that we continue to spend billions in tax subsidies on the very industry which has done so much to help create the climate emergency," said Blumenauer, a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. "Rather than lining the pockets of large oil and gas companies and incentivizing the continued extraction of fossil fuels, we must end these unnecessary subsidies and instead invest in clean energy technologies and jobs that will put Americans to work and fight the climate crisis."

The United States emitted more than 6.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases in 2018, with the vast majority of emissions coming from the combustion of fossil fuels. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that fossil fuels receive nearly $650 billion per year in direct and indirect subsidies in the United States. The bill increases the competitiveness of the energy industry while ensuring the United States is no longer subsidizing carbon emissions at the expense of clean energy.

A copy of the legislation is available here.

Casten, a member of the Select Report on the Climate Crisis, recently released the Committee's Report which highlighted the need to eliminate the market-distorting subsidies received by the fossil fuel industry.