Fossil Fuel Corporate Welfare Twelve Times Renewable Energy

Bloomberg reports that fossil fuel subsidies are twelve times renewable energy subsidies.

Fossil Fuels – $557 billion

Renewable – $43 billion


STOP Corporate Welfare for the oil & gas industry!

Ahm, for the ignorant commenter.

UPDATE: here is a nifty graphic showing how our tax dollars paid for the fracking technology.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Anonymous says

    It's about time to remove all this corporate welfare and start a vigorous TAXING program on the fossil fuels industry!

    • Randy Verret says

      OK. Let’s stop ALL the corporate welfare in energy, PERIOD and just see who can compete in the open marketplace. I have a strong sense that a lot of what is being called “subsidies” for the oil & gas industry are depletion allowances, write-offs on intangible drilling costs & royalty abatements used in high risk areas (like offshore) to attarct development. By any reasonable economic defintion, these would not be subsidies but “tax incentives” that are often offered to most manufacturing industries. So, a little “fact check” (here) would appear in order. I don’t believe wind, solar & biofuel programs will look quite as “choice” when you are not selective on your facts.

      Further, as for taxes, I believe the oil & gas industry (actually) has one of the highest effective tax rates of any manufactoring sector. I am sure you can verify that on the IRS website. I (also) believe the oil & gas industry pays around $90MM per day in royalty revenue to the US government, Uncle Sam’s SINGLE largest source of tax revenue behind individual taxpayers. Again, there is plenty of data out there to verify this. Last I saw, the oil & gas industry averages about 8-9% return on investment, comfortably in the middle of the major manufacturing sectors in the US. Yep, oil companies make a lot of money but they spend & RISK enormous amounts of capital investments to generate it. Check and see what Google or the average pharmacuetical company has for a rate of return. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised there too.

      What I see is a lot of LAZINESS and broad ASSUMPTIONS when it comes to facts and understanding of this industry. You might be interested that “Big Oil” as traditionally defined only controls 7% of the world market. Check IEA data and you’ll be surprised by the names of the largest producing companies. I bet you won’t recognize ANY of them either. All this confusion & lack of understanding is not going to help us formulate a coherent national energy policy. The world is not a simple place, most days. Let’s go to work to have an HONEST, OPEN dialouge and stop all the “demonizing” when it comes to fossils fuels. THAT is in our national interest, first & foremost…

  2. Anonymous says

    Oh I agree let's send the economy into a bigger tailspin than Obama already has, oh please, oh please.

  3. Tim Ruggiero says

    Corporations do not pay taxes. We little people pay taxes. Ok, technically, corporations pay taxes, but they just pas the cost of this on to the consumer. Big Oil ain't no different. If we were to tax them on anything, drilling, producing, equipment, etc., they will simply pass on the increase in cost to comsumers.

  4. Anonymous says

    Bigger tailspins if we dare suggest higher taxes for the fossil fuels businesses??? And Obama caused it?

    Consider this ~ touting "jobs" as the reason to not "tax" the rich and powerful fossil fuel industry "vigorously" is well, ignorant and stupid.

    I'm thinking the big guy, this former construction worker guy who just started doing this gas drilling work…I happened to talk with this past Saturday at a petition signing…who told me he couldn't say anything or sign anything because he "needs this job," but that he was "worried" about the toxic stuff on the site…they wear no protective gear but he is told when to turn away so as not to breathe too much bad stuff…I don't see the industry having any real concern about this fact. All I hear is how they're providing "jobs" for the awful, flailing economy. That flailing economy works really well for them to keep their profits obscenely high. Gee, flailing economy, big profits. How can that be??

    Hey, let's talk about "not taxing" the industry only after we talk about "real safety" for our neighbors, friends, husbands, sons and daughters in our North Texas communities needed to do the dirty work.

    It's clear that this industry is in so much denial about their "clean energy" that they will never do anything but hold us all hostage.

    I got no use for such ridiculous logic. Or for this despicable, horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, dirty, filthy, neighborhood destroying gas drilling industry.

  5. Anonymous says

    Your graph doesn't look like the one from bls. Anyone that believes vigorous taxing of industry is good for economic growth is ignorant. The government is a piss poor model of efficiency at best and down right terrible most of the time so the less money they have the better off we will be unless in the current situation and we just print money with no intention to pay it back. Exxon Mobil paid 38% tax on profits. How much more do you want? Give me a break just send all your paychecks to the government and let them take care of you. I'll keep mine. To last anon 1137: nothing will make you happy brain washing is complete. Take care.

  6. Anonymous says

    The data an the graph comes from the BLS. Anyone who believes that removing taxes from the very richest people causing the middle class to make up for lost revenue does ANYTHING but make the richest RICHER has learned NOTHING and will learn nothing.

    You can lose the "government taking care of us" rhetoric that was fed to you by the Koch Oil Company funded Tea Baggers.

    Please follow Darwin's law and become extinct so the rest of us can get on with it.

  7. Anonymous says

    Sharon your graph is not the same as bls. I don't know how to say it any more plain for you to understand. Just like the rest argue even when dead wrong. Keep up the delusional fight!

  8. TXsharon says

    Are you talking to me in reference to arguing??? Because I'm not anonymous. However, anonymous is correct. The DATA used to create the graph came from the BLS and I realize that you don't like that data because it doesn't say what you want it to say but it's still the correct data.

    So, let me ask you this: What the hell are you doing here if you have such disdain for the information presented? Why would you waste your time here?

  9. TXsharon says

    Oh, it's you again. Here to protect your vested interest. I should have known and I should have checked my statcounter. …explains a lot.

  10. Anonymous says

    To Anon at 7:35 AM: Quite the contrary…heavy, heavy regulation (by that piss-poor government you mentioned) of the fossil fuel industry will make me mostly happy. 38% you say? Well, that could certainly ooch up some more.

    You know, you really do need a frac pond in your backyard.

  11. Anonymous says

    So glad you mentioned the BLS. Let's talk about that for a minute. In June, Julie Wilson of Chesapeake Energy gave a ppt in which she states that there are 52,800 direct industry jobs in the Ft. Worth -Arlington area alone. WOW!!!! But according to the BLS, the entire oil and gas extraction employment numbers showed 93,500 jobs for the whole of the U.S. But how can that be? Julie tells us that over half of ALL oil and gas jobs are right here in Ft. Worth and Arlington. What was that you mentioned about delusional?

    Now even if you take all the oil and gas extraction workers seasonally adjusted that is still 165, 300 total jobs and we are to believe that 1/3 of them are right here in BS land. The world according to Julie.

    Let's continue, shall we? In 2008 the Perryman Group, no doubt you remember them, those wonderful "economists" which were trotted out each year at the Barnett Shale EXPO to provide equally delusional figures. Well they claimed, with faces flushed, that there were 111,000 direct industry jobs in the Barnett Shale. But……you guessed it. According to the BLS there were only 164,700 TOTAL jobs in the entire U.S. in oil and gas extraction. And that is seasonally adjusted.

    Do you boys ever do your homework? This shooting from the hip is getting very tiresome.

  12. Anonymous says

    Yes I would take a Frac pond in my backyard! This shows how little you understand. Frac ponds are fresh water. Did you think you could hook up to water well that would produce at 100 bbl min? Typically they are left for land owner use if wanted.
    Second bls numbers count extraction workers. Think about it for bit. Those employed by the operators. Exxon- 80000 workers. Chevron- 60000 workers. Conocophillips- 35000. Dang why doesn't it add up? So three companies out of how many? Then you still add all the service companies- haliburton, schlumberger, bj just to name a few. Wow. I guess a truck driver isn't an oil and gas extraction worker or all the others. Come on now.

  13. RCook says

    Seems like there's always a war to discredit and explain away data. I'm used to it, so I look at concepts as well as numbers. It's obvious the US govt assits the fossile fuel energy, which we depend on now, while talking about alternative fuels as "the answer." We need to put govt money on the solution, which will cause citizens to shift to alternate sources. As for jobs, they will be where the money and consumers are and workers will have to adapt-as we do in every sector.

  14. Anonymous says

    Here's the BLS definition: Industries in the Oil and Gas Extraction subsector operate and/or develop oil and gas field properties. Such activities may include exploration for crude petroleum and natural gas; drilling, completing, and equipping wells; operating separators, emulsion breakers, desilting equipment, and field gathering lines for crude petroleum and natural gas; and all other activities in the preparation of oil and gas up to the point of shipment from the producing property. Now what was that you were saying about Haliburton and Schlumberger? Oh and truck drivers? I bet they fall under "and all other activities".

    I couldn't agree more with the last comment. We need to abolish the corporate welfare to the hydrocarbon industry and place it with alternatives. NOW.

  15. Anonymous says

    OMG. Well, you know what…Anon at 10:00 AM…if you think that a neighborhood wants a "frac pond" remaining within a few feet of their backyards after "fracking" has been completed…well, you are out of your mind. Obviously, you are totally unaware of the "reality" of what's going on in suburbia. Maybe we should expect ducks and fish in that frac pond during fracing since it's so fresh and clean.

    Or better…the industry should really have a frac drinking party after all the wells are completed on a pad site to show how fresh and good the water is. I would love to attend that.

  16. TXsharon says

    I have seen a frac pond turn into a waste pit for flow back more than once. Oh oops! Backwash. Sorry.

  17. Anonymous says

    Hey Anon 10:00. Your employment figures for XOM and the rest are WORLDWIDE figures. Maybe that frac pond is affecting your ability to think.

  18. Anonymous says

    It like piranhas. Sharon where are your pictures at? Anon I'm not scared to drink it any more than I would drink lake Bridgeport. Like I said it fresh water out of well or other ponds. I can take you to a dozen or so that are now stock tanks with fish and ducks.
    Anon 2: I know those are worldwide figures of only 3 companies. Over 50% of there worker are in the US.

  19. TXsharon says

    Pictures? What pictures?

    Oh, do you mean pictures of the fresh water frack pit turned flow back drilling waste pit? Those pictures?


  20. Anonymous says

    Sharon, I remember those pictures, seeing them before all of this became "reality" for me and my community. So sad that the industry is so caught up in its own fantasy. Bursting their bubble is interesting to watch…did somebody just call me/us piranas? They may not be jumping ship just yet, but we can only hope and pray. I wish them well…they think they can win this. But the sleeping giant is awake and meeting in neighborhoods all across the Barnett Shale.