Unequal Exchange: How US Taxpayers Shoulder the Burden of Fossil Fuel Development on Federal Lands (Oil Change International)

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Fossil fuel production on federal land is a major contributor to greenhouse gas pollution, accounting for 28% of total US energy related emissions. Yet there exists a wide range of subsidies and support mechanisms specifically aimed at promoting the production of fossil fuels on federal lands that continue to increase US greenhouse gas emissions at the expense of American taxpayers, while undermining the competitiveness of clean energy alternatives and putting communities at risk. This briefing note by Oil Change International along with other NGOs analyzes the magnitude and the consequences of fossil fuel production subsidies in the US. Estimated subsidies amounted to USD7 billion in 2014, while the ability of oil, gas, and coal producers to shift potential future liability onto taxpayers is also a major – yet hard to quantify – subsidy. Removing these subsidies would save taxpayers money while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions from oil, gas, and coal production. The briefing is available to download on the website of Oil Change International.