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Cut Oil Subsidies, Not Jobs

Last week, I said that if Congress has to make cuts, we should embrace the idea of ridding ourselves of wasteful giveaways to the fossil fuel industry. Here’s an idea. Let’s cut the Master Limited Partnership loophole and fossil fuel subsidies.

The Master Limited Partnership is an obscure but harmful multibillion dollar loophole that allows fossil fuel companies to avoid all income taxes on transportation or processing of fossil fuels — things like oil pipelines. Renewable energy companies don’t have the same option, meaning the taxpayer is subsidizing polluters at the expense of cleaner, renewable energy. The total cost to the taxpayer? $2.4 billion dollars every 5 years. Now, some folks propose to extend the Master Limited Partnership to green industries. That’s fine, but what about leveling the playing field and cutting the deficit at the same?

The Master Limited Partnership is just one example of the billions of dollars in handouts that polluters get from Congress. For instance, BP was able to deduct nearly $10 billion from cleaning up its own mess in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the next 10 years, fossil fuel companies will receive over $110 billion in taxpayer giveaways. Ending these subsidies would recoup the $12 billion fossil fuel companies will be able to deduct by claiming they are manufacturers, and the almost $11 billion we will lose from free leases to drill on public land.


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