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Friday, April 24, 2015

Legislation introduced in both houses would end the billions in subsidies and tax loopholes enjoyed by fossil fuel industry

"Would you believe that the Department of Energy is still co-signing loans for boondoggle projects that pretend coal can be clean? Or that the Department of Transportation is still handing out grant money to oil train operators, essentially subsidizing the unsafe cars that killed 47 people in Lac Megantic, Canada? Or that Congress is still shoveling billions into the pockets of oil, gas and coal interests, ensuring that these companies remain some of the most under-taxed in our entire economy?"

Despite the clear need to move away from a fossil fuel-based energy system, U.S. taxpayers continue to line the pockets of oil, gas, and coal companies with subsidies and tax giveaways projected to cost more than $135 billion over the next decade. In a bid to stem what they call "polluter welfare," Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) marked Earth Day on Wednesday by introducing new legislation (pdf) that would end tax breaks for fossil-fuel industries, recoup taxpayer-owed royalties for fossil-fuel related practices on public lands and waters, and prioritize federally-supported research for clean energy projects. Further, the measures would also prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting clean-up costs from their taxes."