In an open letter sent to Congress today, a coalition of 40 national taxpayer, labor, environmental and other groups called on the federal government to repeal almost $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, calling them wasteful and lambasting Congress for subsidizing activities that will make climate change worse.
The groups called on Senators to support the FAIR Energy Policy Act, which would slowly phase out nine special tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry.
“Oil companies receive billions in tax breaks, despite being among the world’s largest and most profitable corporations,” the groups wrote. “For too long, America has subsidized the oil industry’s bottom line at middle class Americans’ expense.”
Another law passed earlier this year revokes the wind industry's production tax credit, and the FAIR Energy Policy Act would wind down some of the oil industry's subsidies on the same schedule.
“If we are phasing out tax credits for clean energy—something I oppose—then why are we still committing to permanently support the fossil fuel industries with tax preferences they don’t need?” said Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii who sponsored that bill. “It is based on the very simple idea that there should be a level playing field for fossil fuels and clean energy.”