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As Climate Crisis Expands, Canada Hands Billions To Fossil Fuel Industry

A new report by the nonprofit Environmental Defence indicates that, despite record profits for the fossil fuel industry and Canadian claims to eliminate subsidies, the government of Justin Trudeau continues to spend massive quantities of public money supporting the primary cause of climate change. “As people across Canada faced a fossil fuel affordability crisis, and climate disasters continued to ravage the country and the world, the government of Canada continued providing financial support to an industry that we need to be winding down in order to avoid catastrophic levels of warming.”

Schools Broke? Corporate Subsidies Cost Schools at Least $1.8 Billion Last Year

School districts in ten states, led by South Carolina, New York and Louisiana, collectively lost $1.6 billion. If this money were instead reinvested in hiring new teachers and reducing class size, these ten states alone could add more than 28,000 teachers. Nearly 250 school districts lost at least $1 million each, and in four districts, tax abatements reduced classroom resources by more than $50 million. Hillsboro, Oregon schools lost $96.7 million as a result of extremely generous tax breaks to Intel. The report, entitled The New Math on School Finance, was enabled by a new accounting standard adopted by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the body that sets accounting rules followed by all states and most localities.

We Subsidize The Wrong Kind Of Agriculture

Summer: the season of barbecues, baseball games, and backyard fun. It’s also the time of year when the American farming industry comes into full swing producing the crops we hold near and dear. The pastoral ideal of golden fields of corn and wheat is what comes to mind for most people, and they’d be on the right track. Corn, soybeans, and wheat are the three biggest crops grown in this country, and — along with cows, pigs, and chicken — make up the bulk of our farming output. There’s a reason for this: The federal government heavily subsidizes those products. In fact, the bulk of U.S. farming subsidies go to only 4 percent of farms — overwhelmingly large and corporate operations — that grow these few crops. For the most part, that corn, soy, and wheat doesn’t even go to feed our populace. More of it goes into the production of ethanol...

Locally-Owned Businesses Fight Back Against Subsidies To National Chains

Lanning is widely recognized for her work. Even though she finds traditional economic development planners to be frequent adversaries, in 2014 the International Economic Development Council awarded her a Citizen Leader of the Year Award. She considers that a turning point in planners’ recognition of the value of local businesses. Arizona Business Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential women in Arizona, and the American Planning Association named her Distinguished Citizen Planner for her work on the reuse of old buildings. In November, at a conference of the nonprofit Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, for which Lanning is an incoming co-chair, Lanning told me of the sources of her passion for local business.

Plan To Subsidize Coal And Nuclear Plants Is Bonkers

By David Roberts for Vox - The Trump administration has not typically put a premium on transparency or fealty to empirical fact. So it was somewhat puzzling when the Department of Energy released its long-awaited study of power grid reliability in August and it looked ... mostly normal. By all accounts, DOE’s experts were allowed to work on it unimpeded. Its conclusions lined up with the broad consensus in the energy field: The loss of coal plants has not diminished grid reliability; in fact, the grid is more reliable than ever. Reliability can be improved further through smart planning and a portfolio of flexible resources. Regulators should work on ways to better compensate reliability in competitive energy markets. The summary bits of the report added a bit of political spin, but the analytic work and core conclusions were solid — and very much not in line with the administration’s position, which is that reliability is immediately threatened and coal and nuclear plants are necessary to preserve it. Where, wondered the more cynical observers [waves], was the hackery? Where was the political interference to prop up a favored industry, the blithe disregard of expert knowledge? This is not the Trump administration we’ve come to know and ... know. Well, it turns out, we just needed a little patience. The hackery has landed. Repeat: The hackery has landed.

Briefing: Dakota Access Pipeline’s Massive Government Subsidies

By Collin Rees for Oil Change International - The Dakota Access Pipeline has faced strong resistance from Native Americans, farmers, and ranchers along the proposed pipeline route. It’s also energized the broader climate movement and raised critical questions of protecting clean water, respecting native sovereignty, and rethinking eminent domain for private gain.

Call On Congress To End $4 Billion Annual Oil Industry Subsidies

By Sharon Kelly for Desmog - 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.

More Than $20 Billion Annually In Government Subsidies For Oil

Today, Oil Change International released a comprehensive report on fossil fuel exploration and production subsidies in the U.S. – Cashing in on All of the Above: U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Subsidies under Obama – which demonstrates that at a time when we need urgent action on climate change more than ever, the U.S. government is channeling huge and growing amounts of money to increasing discovery and production of oil, gas, and coal. These federal and state subsidies totaled $21.6 billion in 2013. Subsidies that promote fossil fuel exploration are particularly harmful and hypocritical. The world’s preeminent scientific institutions working on climate and energy have determined that the majority of the world’s existing fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground in order to avoid catastrophic climate impacts. In 2012, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that “no more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2°C goal.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reached a similar conclusion in its 2013 climate assessment.
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