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Forget “implicit” subsidies: Fossil fuels subsidize the whole world: feeding people and forests for free

The latest academic voodoo doll tossed at Fossil Fuels is a study claiming that the industry gets $65 billion in “implicit” subsidies in the US.

The authors of the latest paper assume the broken climate models work, and then guesstimate what the cost of all that theoretical warming would be with economic models that aren’t much better. It’s a paywalled paper, but they don’t appear to account for all the net benefits of coal, oil and gas which include, keeping people alive and fertilizing forests and fields around the world for free. These aren’t guesstimates from the future but known good and great gifts from the last century or two.

Greening the Earth.  Zaichun Zhu, (2016)

Send them the bill: the fossil fuel companies are subsidizing taxpayers

How much is a hundred years of free fertilizer worth?

If only academic institutions were more than Big Gov advertising agencies they might also have considered that fossil fuel companies are never paid for their part in boosting agricultural yields, nor in greening the forests. Some 18 million square kilometers of Earths surface has more biomass. Arid regions of the world are 11% greener, mostly thanks to CO2  and deserts are shrinking. If CO2 actually caused much warming we might even be overrun with cheap soy and corn  and crops could grow another 1,200 kilometers closer to the North Pole.

Cold weather kills 20 times more people than heat. If Kotchen can assume CO2 causes warming (despite the lack of evidence for that), it follows then that it must have saved countless lives. How many more senior citizens would die prematurely if they are forced to pay more for electricity and thus can’t afford to turn the heater on in winter? In the UK alone, in one winter there were at least 20,000 more deaths. All over the world, people die more in cooler weather, even in hot Brisbane.

Fossil fuels makes farmers richer, food more affordable, keeps people warm, greens the planet, employs thousands, pays taxes, saves forests from being razed for Drax, moves nearly everything that needs to move, and creates more flowers.

In a fair world, Yale should give back all government funding until it raises its standards and stops producing politically biased, incompetent studies.

The producer benefits of implicit fossil fuel subsidies in the United States

Matthew J. Kotchen, PNAS

There are real and substantial financial implications to fossil fuel producers of policies that seek to correct market failures brought about by climate change, adverse health effects from local pollution, and inefficient transportation. The producer benefits of the existing policy regime in the United States are estimated at $62 billion annually during normal economic conditions. This translates into large amounts for individual companies due to the relatively small number of fossil fuel producers. This paper provides company-specific estimates, and these numbers clarify why many in the fossil fuel industry oppose more efficient regulatory reform; they may also shape the way policymakers view the prospects for additional subsidies going forward.

The financial benefit because of unpriced costs borne by society is comparable to 18% of net income from continuing domestic operations for the median natural gas and oil producer in 2017–2018, and it exceeds net income for the majority of coal producers. “

And yet the companies themselves don’t even try to defend what they do? Why?

Kotchen notes that he contacted all of the companies included in his study and found that none of them had anything to say about implicit subsidies.

See the chart of how desperate plants are for carbon dioxide. The fertilizer carefully released to the world by the gas oil and coal industries is a gift to farmers and consumers, keeping the price of pumpkins low.


Zaichun Zhu, et al (2016) Greening of the Earth and its driversNature Climate Change, Letterdoi:10.1038/nclimate3004

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