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Our Lopsided Energy Subsidies, Visualized


Here's a look at the various ways in which we subsidize energy (the chart is based on this paper from the Environmental Law Institute). As you can see, the tax breaks for traditional fossil fuels, in the bottom left quadrant, are just massive. The result? The cost of coal and oil are artificially cheap, meaning we use them more, and the companies that extract and sell them reap absurd profits. Is there any neoliberal economic defense for this or is it simply an unfair product of industry lobbying? Anyone know?


As far as the graph goes, I would like to see an animated version that shows how these subsidies have changed over time. The renewable energy subsidies have certainly grown, but how quickly? Have the tax breaks for traditional fossil fuels declined at all?

Via Boing Boing, where Maggie Koerth-Baker offers some helpful context.

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