What Is a Fossil Fuel Subsidy?
When someone is talking about fossil fuel subsidies, they are usually talking about the money that fossil-fuel companies receive from government agencies. In the United States, these subsidies come from both the federal and state governments. There are numerous ways that the government may subsidize fossil fuel production. For example, there are some situations where governments may give companies a tax break in exchange for lower prices on fossil fuels. There are a lot of people who are concerned about fossil fuel subsidies because they incentivize more oil production, which can harm the environment. At the same time, the vast majority of people still depend on a steady supply of gas to power their vehicles.
Which Countries Provide the Most Fossil Fuel Subsidies?
Across all of the G20 countries, fossil fuel subsidies were approximately $290 billion. There are some countries that provide more fossil fuel subsidies than others. For example, China provides approximately $30 billion in fossil fuel subsidies to a variety of companies, and they are widely believed to provide the highest fossil fuel subsidies in the developed world.
Saudi Arabia also provides a lot of fossil fuel subsidies annually, and they are estimated to be approximately $28.7 billion. Russia is also known to provide a lot of fossil fuel subsidies to its companies. Russia is one of the biggest producers of oil in the world, and it provides approximately $24 billion in fossil fuel subsidies every year.
Does the United States Provide a Lot of Fossil Fuel Subsidies?
Yes, the United States also provides a lot of fossil fuel subsidies every year. It does not provide nearly as many subsidies as the other countries mentioned above, but they are still significant. The United States is estimated to provide a total of $20 billion in fossil fuel subsidies every year. Approximately 70 percent of these subsidies come from the federal government, and another 30 percent come from the state government. There are some states that provide more fossil fuel subsidies than others. It is widely believed that states that provide a lot of fossil fuel subsidies enjoy lower gas prices, but this is not always the case.
What Are the Dangers of Fossil Fuel Subsidies?
The biggest reason why a lot of people are concerned about fossil fuel subsidies is that they hamper the development of renewable energy sources. Fossil fuel companies do not want renewable energy resources to be developed because it will hurt their pocketbooks. If people are able to use renewable energy, not as many people will buy gas. At the same time, fossil fuel subsidies lower the price of fossil fuels, which encourages people to use them. This means that not enough people are getting behind renewable energy sources, and fossil fuels continue to harm the environment. For this reason, there are a lot of people who are campaigning to end fossil fuel subsidies. That way, more people will be interested in the development of renewable energy.