Biden Asks Congress to End $40 Billion in Taxpayer Subsidies for Fossil Fuels

“Biden campaigned on eliminating fossil fuel giveaways, and voters agree by a huge margin,” said one climate activist.

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams

In a speech Wednesday outlining his new executive actions aimed at confronting the “existential threat” of the climate crisis, President Joe Biden said he plans to ask the Democrat-controlled Congress to pass legislation eliminating the tens of billions in taxpayer subsidies the federal government continues to hand Big Oil even as the planetary emergency wreaks havoc in the U.S. and across the globe.

“Unlike previous administrations, I don’t think the federal government should give handouts to Big Oil to the tune of $40 billion in fossil fuel subsidies,” said Biden. “I’m gonna be going to the Congress and asking them to eliminate those subsidies.”

While the president did not offer specifics on what he would want a potential bill to look like, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and other progressive lawmakers introduced legislation last year that proposed ending direct federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and “abolishing dozens of tax loopholes, subsidies, and other special interest giveaways littered throughout the federal tax code.”

The lawmakers estimated the End Polluter Welfare Act would save taxpayers up to $150 billion over the next decade.

Watch Biden’s remarks:

Biden’s call for legislative action on fossil fuel subsidies came just before he signed an executive order that, according to a White House summary, “directs federal agencies to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law”—a move that would not touch handouts mandated by Congress.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Alex Doukas of Oil Change International (OCI) argued that Biden’s new executive actions and remarks on climate “could set the stage for a massive shift away from public handouts to the fossil fuel industry—not only in the U.S., but around the world.” 

Collin Rees, senior campaigner at OCI, said in a statement Wednesday that “directing federal agencies to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies where they are able to is a welcome shift from a Trump administration that spent four years doubling down to massive giveaways to oil, gas, and coal.”

“Biden campaigned on eliminating fossil fuel giveaways, and voters agree by a huge margin,” said Rees. “Taking the climate crisis seriously means prioritizing clean energy and investing in an equitable transition, not propping up an industry destroying the climate and abandoning its workers.”

This article is from Common Dreams.

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8 comments for “Biden Asks Congress to End $40 Billion in Taxpayer Subsidies for Fossil Fuels

  1. B. Currie
    January 29, 2021 at 17:24

    The money not spent on subsidizing fossil fuels would be well spent going to UBI for everyone making under $50,000, for the duration of the pandemic, and to tide over small businesses–like most non-chain restaurants–as well.

  2. Mark J Oetting
    January 29, 2021 at 14:20

    Why not also end subsidies for ethanol which is actually worse then fossil fuels. Takes more energy to make then you ever get out of it, can’t send it through a pipeline, removes food from starving mouths and pollutes too boot. When will people wake up and learn that green means hydro electric, nuclear power and hydrogen fuels not windmills, solar panels and bio-fuels.

  3. charles
    January 29, 2021 at 10:22

    The blow back on this will be that the gas price will go up to $5 a gallon. I support the idea but that could be a big problem since the world still runs on oil. Has this been thought out.

  4. bob browning
    January 28, 2021 at 10:10

    Another PR piece for the DNC. They give up something w one hand and take twice as much w the other. I’m sure the “green deal” will funnel big bucks to these oligarchs.

    • robert e williamson jr
      January 28, 2021 at 15:41

      Call me cynical or what ever but I was not born last night and it seems as though Mr. Browning wasn’t either.

      What Biden didn’t talk about here is all those bargain basement oil leases they have raked in over the years.

      Speaking of cutting corporations off from the public teet isn’t it about time we drastically cut the budget of handouts to Israel.

      • charles
        January 29, 2021 at 10:24

        Now you are talking! Get rid of all money handouts to Israel. I support that!

  5. Sally McMillan
    January 28, 2021 at 09:41

    Thank you to President Biden, along with John Kerry, for ending subsidies to fossil fuels and also for ending oil and gas development on federal lands. Increased development of wind and sun energy is in many ways an important step to hold back climate change, to be a source of many new jobs, to lessen pollution of the earth, and to provide a renewable and cheaper form of energy.

  6. Susan Leslie
    January 28, 2021 at 07:57

    $150 billion over the next 10 years is huge! Just think of the problems we could solve in this country if that money was put toward social programs instead of into the pockets of billionaires. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if all of this talk is for real or just lip service to placate the masses…

Comments are closed.