Organizations which profit from pollution spend lots money on lobbying and campaign contributions.
Is it worth it?
Government subsidies are monies given to, or not taken from, private companies.
To learn more about the non-cash benefits companies obtain, go to the political influence page.
When asked about Exxon's seemingly unethical political activities, one of their lobbyists replied,
"But there's nothing illegal about that...We were looking out for our shareholders."
In "the oil, gas and coal industry, it’s...business as usual...
For every $1 [spent] on campaign contributions and lobbying...it gets back $119 in subsidies."
"Estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20 billion per year;
with 20 percent...allocated to coal and 80 percent to natural gas and crude oil."
"Tax preferences and...subsidies push nearly half of new, yet-to-be-developed oil investments into profitability."
Over the years, legislative friends of polluting organizations have found myriad ways
to financially help these companies - using our tax dollars. Here's a short list:
- "the Deepwater Horizon oil spill...settlement turned out to be tax-deductible, meaning that BP could write off $15.3 billion of the penalty"
- "$14.5 billion in subsidies to bring down gas prices and utility bills"
- "ExxonMobil...has been overvaluing its U.S...assets by as much as $56 billion"
- "...systematic theft of oil by mis-measuring amounts removed from storage ...the feds declined to prosecute"
- Leasing rights for drilling and mining
- Land sales
- "military expenditures to protect...U.S. oil companies overseas"
- Defense dept. purchases of beef, gas, kerosene, oil, gasoline, dairy products