Infographic of the Week: Federal Subsidies – Fossil Fuels vs. Renewable Energy

  • The vast majority of federal subsidies for fossil fuels and renewable energy supported energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases when used as fuel.
  • Fossil fuels (left) garner far greater subsidies than renewables, to the tune of $72 billion over the study period ('02-08).
  • Renewable fuels, meanwhile, saw just $29 billion over the same period.
  • Fossil fuel fule subsidies increased over the study period, while funding for renewables increased but saw a precipitous drop in 2006-07 
  • Fossil fuels subsidies are permanent provisions in the U.S. Tax Code. 
  • Most renewables subsidies are time-limited initiatives implemented through energy bills, limiting their usefulness to the renewables industry.
  • Half renewables subsidies go for corn-ethanol, the use of which raises considerable questions about effects on climate.
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