WASHINGTON – The Energy Information Administration (EIA), a research and data analysis arm of the Department of Energy, has released a report that details the amount of taxpayer subsidies that were distributed to energy producers in 2010. The federal government handed out $37.2 billion to energy producers in 2010, an increase of 108 percent from the $17.9 billion doled out in 2007. The largest increases in federal subsidies were in renewable and end-use subsidies.
Among the key findings:
-Subsidies to the wind industry increased 10-fold, from $467 million in 2007 to $4.9 billion in 2010, while that source’s share of total energy production increased from 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent during the same time.
-Renewable energy subsidies increased by 186 percent from $5.1 billion to $14.7 billion.
-In 2010, solar received $745.19 per unit of energy produced and wind received $52.68. That same year, hydropower received $0.84 per unit of energy produced and coal received $0.64 per unit.
-In 2010, oil, natural gas, and coal accounted for 78 percent of U.S. energy production while receiving 11 percent of all federal energy subsidies.
In response to the report, Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, issued the following statement:
“This new report shows the huge price tag for politically-favored energy sources. With the American taxpayer footing the bill, the federal government handed over $37 billion dollars to energy companies in 2010 alone. At a time when our nation is drowning in $14 trillion of debt, Washington has no business propping up companies with taxpayer dollars
“President Obama has doubled-down on taxpayer subsidies for politically-favored energy sources. While the ‘green energy future’ sounds good in a speech, these sources continue to provide negligible amounts of energy and suck up billions of dollars every year from American taxpayers. It’s about time for President Obama to realize that Washington-controlled energy dictates are wasting taxpayer dollars and providing no benefits to the American people.
“More than ever, America needs a level playing field for energy producers so that companies are forced to compete in the marketplace and taxpayers can hold on to more of their hard earned money.”
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.
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