Biden Vows to Cut Emissions, But U.S. Continues to Subsidize Wealthy Oil Companies With Massive Bailouts

President Joe Biden said the U.S. would cut its emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade during a virtual summit on the climate crisis this week, with 40 leaders representing the world’s major economies pledging cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

However, New Republic journalist Kate Aronoff explained to Democracy Now how the U.S. government is subsidizing wealthy oil companies — that are causing emissions — with massive financial bailouts:

So, there’s a range of subsidies that the fossil fuel industry takes in, and it’s really dependent, in a lot of ways, on state support, and has been for a very long time, whether that’s things like the intangible drilling tax credit, where they can write off the expense for exploring for new oil or drilling for new oil reserves, or preferential land leasing, that they get to take up land leases on public land for oil and gas drilling, or even things like railroads — right? — the transport, transport of coal, for a long time, you know, export permits to send fossil fuels abroad. There is not a fossil fuel industry in the United States without state support for the fossil fuel industry in the United States. Its profits are entirely dependent on a huge amount of state support.

And, you know, I think the industry likes to make the case that, “Well, this creates jobs. This is a key part of our economy.” And as Katie Porter pointed out, the fossil fuel industry got a lot of support for the pandemic, in particular, through sort of emergency relief funding. And 77 oil and gas companies got $8.2 billion in support and laid off 16% of their workforce, you know? The idea that these companies are job creators and are interested in creating sort of a middle-class life for big parts of this country is just wrong, right? They are interested in union busting, as they have been historically. They’re interested in firing as many people as possible to bring down production cost. And they can’t exist.

(Source: Democracy Now)

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