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by Kyle Wingfield
Not that this will stop the Obama administration from decrying giveaways to Big Oil — facts have never much bothered this bunch before — but a new government report shows there’s big money to be had in energy subsidies, mostly for fuels other than oil and coal.
The Congressional Budget Office compiled federal tax-credit and spending data since the Carter era and found that, lately, the vast majority of the corporate welfare is going not to fossil fuels but to renewable energy:
Measured in 2011 dollars, the cost of energy-related tax preferences more than doubled between 1977 and 1982 and then fell dramatically between 1982 and 1988, in part because of declines in tax rates and fuel prices… . The cost of energy-related tax preferences grew gradually between 1988 and 2005 and averaged about $4 billion a year from 2000 to 2005. That cost (including outlays for grants in lieu of tax preferences) has risen sharply since then, to an average of $20 billion a year from 2009 through 2011.