We are subsidizing our own destruction.

The fossil fuel industry is cashing in on government welfare. According to a new report from Oil Change International, the oil, gas, and coal industries raked in $21.6 billion dollars in state and federal subsidies in 2013 alone. In comparison, the entire 2013 budget request for the Department of Labor was only $12 billion dollars, and the Environmental Protection Agency only requested about $8 billion. We're giving the industry that destroys our planet more than two and half times the amount we pay to protect it.

As EcoWatch.com points out, subsidies to fossil fuel companies are “particularly harmful and hypocritical.” The world's leading scientific institutions, including the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, all say that the majority of fossil fuels must stay in the ground in order to prevent extreme global warming. One of this new report's authors said, “The science is clear that at least two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change – it is time for the U.S. government to show leadership and immediately end the massive subsidies that encourage their production.”

Not only do these subsidies pad the pockets of oil companies, but they put tax payers on the hook for the social costs of destroying our planet. If Big Oil had to pay the true cost of fossil fuel extraction, they wouldn't be able to drill away without a second thought about the communities and the lives that they devastate in the process. It's time to demand that our government start making $20 billion dollar investments in our future, instead of subsidizing the very industries that are bringing about our destruction.

Comments

sheilach2's picture
sheilach2 7 years 28 weeks ago
#1

Thom, we can't stop using fossil fuels, we are totally dependend upon them. If we stopped using fossil fuels, the economy would collapse & there would be mass starvation, if we continue to use fossil fuels, the economy would still collaspe as those fuels declined & there would be mass starvation.

We have already passed the tipping point, more & more methane is escaping from the ocean shelf's, a gas that's 40x more potent than CO2, & it's escaping in the Antarctic & the permafrost around the Arctic, this will excellerate climate change.

We wouldn't be in such a mess if we had done what we were suppose to do at the begining of the "green revollution" that was powered by fossil fuels. But we instead made abortion illegal, we made sex education illegal & we made contraseptives illegal or difficult to obtain. Even today, the fundamentalist conservative believers continue to fight against a womans right to her own body, more states are making abortion, birth control & even sex education difficult to get.We have lost the opprotunity to stop population growth & now we are doomed to collaspe. It's too late to save ourselves, we are toast.

SassyLass924's picture
SassyLass924 7 years 28 weeks ago
#2

Thom, Charity Hicks passed away Tuesday, July 8th, after not coming out of the coma. She was the very first person to be arrested for taking action against the water shutoffs here in Detroit. I knew that her mother and husband had been at her side since the accident, and were asking donations for her medical bill, but now they have other bills like bring her home for burial and helping her husband get caught up with the things he couldn't pay because of being out of work and out of state. So if anyone could donate please do. Here is the link: Charity Mahouna Hicks "Wage Love" Fund

Thank you,

Jean

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 7 years 28 weeks ago
#3

To be honest, this isn't the brightest generation. I saw an incident some time ago that "said it all." A man was sitting in his car, parked at the curb with the engine running. A woman walked by, smoking a cigaret, and the man in his pollution machine made some comment to the woman about polluting "his" air. Few smoke, most drive. The most carcinogenic type of smoke is the kind that contains oil particles, and the leading cause in the US today is our motor vehicles. These oil particles are what is killing off forests, which provide the oxygen we require. This is the cause of climate change. Need I mention that demand for oil keeps us engaged in wars? The middle class has consistently fought every effort to invest in building a modern, affordable mass transportation system, and continue to insist that they "have the right" to drive as much as they wish.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 7 years 28 weeks ago
#4

Diversion of fossil fuel subsidies to renewable energy development would be a zero-sum event. (tax wise) The Repubs should really like that but since they and not a few Dems are in the fossil fuel industries' pockets there would have to be a lot of hollering by the general citizenry to get 'er done. I favor a focus on rooftop solar for the following reasons:

1. We already have rooftops so additional land would not be consumed,

2. Long distance transmission line losses would be minimized,

3. If the energy were converted by hydrolysis to pressurized hydrogen storage, the following would be possible:

a. power availability for the home after sunset via hydrogen fuel cells,

b. hydrogen to power fuel cell driven automobiles,

c. ability to supply a smart grid during need surges (with reimbursement),

4. A distributed system (properly designed) is more resilient. (each home independent),

5. Money does not flow into only a few pockets as in a centralized, more brittle system.

Perhaps, since we have such obstruction at the national level, we could form a city/state consortium where there is pressure to solve actual problems. (Another Manhattan project?) Dealing positively with both energy needs and climate change = a good thing.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 7 years 28 weeks ago
#5

sheilach2 ~ Quite right! No matter how we look at it we are doomed. There is no way out.

Oh, if there was only a natural substitute for fossil fuels. If only that substitute could remove CO2 from the air and replace it with O2. If only it were capable of cleaning the atmosphere and reversing the greenhouse effect. If only it was permanently sustainable. If only...

http://thehempsolution.blogspot.com/

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 7 years 28 weeks ago
#6

Boycott the new Mike Douglas movie. The billions in subsidies to the oil corp.'s are being used to publicize their planned takeover of public education. Mike sold his silky voice to propagate the falsehood that oil corps can do better by packing the system with their teachers that sell their agenda. As a teacher I oppose the privatization of our public schools that will result in economic segregation. Join the national teacher-student movement to force all institutions of higher learning to divest from the fossil fuel, petrol-chemical economy, entirely. End all subsidies to the oil corps. Vote out the politicians that favor subsidies. The fossil fuel economy must wither on the vine and go the way of the dinosaurs. Or we will.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 28 weeks ago
#7

Craig B -- What is the name of the new movie? The movie previews I have seen, portray m douglas as a crochety old man.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 7 years 28 weeks ago
#8

DANNEMARC & ALICEINWONDERLAND Just a heads-up...I responded to both of your responces to me on TUESDAYS thread. I do enjoy this conversation and both of your perspectives.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 28 weeks ago
#9

Nachos, thank you for your gracious response. Much appreciated. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 28 weeks ago
#10

Amira Willighagen is just 9 years old but she won the Holland's Got Talent contest by singing Opera songs that sounded so unreal for a 9 year old. It was commented that she sings like Maria Callas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDqTBlKU4CE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy00lD2bYT0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUnrLMvpQLk

And this is the funniest and strangest thing that she did that had everyone gasping in disbelief:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbt2yo4u1cU

geonomist's picture
geonomist 7 years 28 weeks ago
#11

If oil companies had to pay their way, they could not even turn a profit. No extractor could. By subsidizing them, making them profitable, we are paying for our own destruction.

A better way is to not subsidize anybody for anything. Instead, government would merely distribute a dividend to citizens from society’s surplus. What’s that? Earth’s worth. It’s all the money that we spend for the nature we use. The land portion of mortgages. The value of oil in the ground embedded in the price of gasoline. Such “rents” are embedded in the price of everything we buy.

With its power to tax or fine or charge fees or institute dues, government could redirect this spending from oil companies and banks, etc, into the public treasury then back out as a Citizen’s Dividend. Even oil company owners and bosses would get their share. But it’d be a tiny fraction of the subsidies they’re getting now. More at Progress.org.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 7 years 27 weeks ago
#12

Palindromedary ~ Thank you so much for that heads up. That little child is certainly a wonder indeed!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#13

DAnneMarc: Yes, she is....and I was a bit worried that she might have been on that MH-17 flight only because she has been doing a lot of traveling to perform.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 7 years 27 weeks ago
#14

Palindromedary ~ I certainly hope she wasn't. That would truly be a serious crime against God and humanity!! Please don't scare me like that!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#15

It is really just too much to fathom...to think about all those people and something like 80 children as well...dying in that crash even if we didn't know them. But after watching and hearing that little girl sing like that it would have been so much harder to take if she had been on that plane. I have flown in and out of Schiphol airport myself. Although I can't remember much about it now. And my company, I believe had customers in Nijmegen which is where that little girl was born. I never had the chance to go there myself. I spent some time in Amsterdam and went to The Hague by train once.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 7 years 27 weeks ago
#16

Palindromedary ~ As it goes, regardless of who was on board, that was still a serious crime against humanity. I guess we can just add it to the growing list caused by Capitalism, greed, and fascism. Not that I can support this, however, my gut tells me this whole thing was set up by the corporatists in this country--and abroad--who stand so much to gain by controlling the Ukraine natural gas reserves; both, out right in profits, and by denying Russia the opportunity to underprice their gas on the international market. If so, these monsters have just got to go. Also, if so, I can't think of anyone else better than Putin to make that happen. We are living during some exciting and dangerous times, indeed!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 27 weeks ago
#17

Fabian, you're great at cuttin' through the BS in this culture. But there is such an infinite supply of it. A virtual tsunami of BS.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#18

DAnneMarc: I agree...you are most likely correct..it's all about power and money and control. And the rich and powerful will do anything, including murder innocent people, to attain even more riches and power.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#19

Fabian: I can see how this might seem contradictory but unless you know the background of why a person might feel compelled to yell at a smoker like that we can't fully understand the whole picture. I know, as a non-smoker, that I had for many years been subjected to the second-hand smoke of smokers in public places. Many times I went to a restaurant and asked for the non-smoking section just to be seated right near the smoking section where right next to me were smokers puffing away and smoke drifting over my way. I always had to ask to be seated somewhere else but it wasn't always convenient to do so because the waiter had already brought the food.

Smokers have really pissed me off for many years! And I am also afraid that if they legalize pot that the smell, which to me is very nauseating sickening odor, will be just about as bad as all of that cigarette smoke I had to deal with before. How would smokers, of tobacco or pot, like it if I farted in their faces? Or, if they live next door to a pot smoker...how would they like living near an open sewer? They wouldn't!!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 27 weeks ago
#20

DAM -- You are giving these crack whores the status of high price call girls. I do not think the Ukranian problem happened because of the $1 trillion of natural gas. I think it happened because of the $15 billion in bonds owed to Wall St and Europe's bankers. After all the neo-nazi's overthrew a democratically elected president and installed a ex-bankster.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 27 weeks ago
#21

Pal -- At least the good news is that pot smoke cures cancer.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#22

Does it? I never heard about that! What kind of cancer does it cure?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#23

Every time Obama claims that MH-17 happened because Russia was backing the separatists someone should remind him that Russia, or the separatists, did not over-throw the original legitimate Ukraine government. The US backed Nazi-loving Ukrainian thugs did that.

Russia did not divert MH-17 over the war zone nor order it to descend down to 33,000 feet...Ukraine did that.

And what the heck does the US even have to say about it, anyway?...only one person out of all of those on-board MH-17 was a half US Citizen who became a Dutch citizen. So he was a dual national...probably didn't even like the US anymore..that's why he was living in the Nederlands (my speculation anyway).

The US, because they have their dirty hands in the affairs of so many countries*, overthrowing legitimate governments, is a worse propaganda machine than Nazi Germany or the old Soviet Union. Why should we trust what they say, anyway, when they are the reason the 99% of us are merely footstools to the master race...the 1%. They lied us into an illegal war in Iraq. They lied us into a dirty illegal war in Vietnam. And they manipulated us all along. Why should we believe their propaganda now?

I heard Michael Weiss, editor in chief of the Interpreter (an online journal that translates and analyzes Russian media) on one US propaganda news program today on TV that claimed that the Russian reports of a Ukraine jet that was only a couple of kilometers away from MH-17 were bogus because the that particular model of the Ukraine military jet (Su-25) could not get up to the altitude of 33,000 feet but only 23,000 feet...talk about bogus....Weiss' logic is bogus as hell. The Su-25 didn't have to be at 33,000 in order to shoot it down. Because the Su-25 can get up to about 33,000 feet, momentarily, from it's normal 23,000 ceiling and I'm sure that even if it didn't get up to where the MH-17 was, at 33,000 feet, it could get off a missile that would easily reach the MH-17. It would also explain why Ukraine had MH-17 descend down to 33,000 feet.

By the way, there are a whole lot of photos, even close ups of various MH-17 crash items here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeroenakkermans/14698699531/in/set-7215764...

* General Wesley Clark. Retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia said:

Quote General Wesley Clark:
“We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran”

Video of the interview of Gen. Wesley Clark and transcript of that interview here:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-ye...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#24
Quote article: A crew of at least four would have been needed to accurately fire the truck-mounted Russian-made SA-11 missile, also known as a Buk missile system.

"You've got to have people who are technically competent," said retired US Army Major General Stephen V. Reeves, who served as an intelligence officer in Western Europe.

The SA-11 is a 1972-era weapon system, and is not as technologically advanced or easy to operate as more modern weaponry.

"This is a hard system to use, in today's terms," said retired US Army Lieutenant General Patrick J. O'Reilly, a former director of the US Missile Defense Agency, who estimated that each of the SA-11 crew members would have needed at least six months of training.

"You don't just take some folks off the street, and 30 days later they're trained," he said.

The SA-11 system is designed to identify a target with radar before and throughout the flight of the missile. The radar data are transmitted continuously to the missile, guiding it toward the target.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/10289031/Operating-Buk-missile-syst...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 7 years 27 weeks ago
#25

Palindromedary ~ If pot were legalized people would probably smoke it in public en masse for a brief period of time at least. Already here in Oakland--which is rapidly becoming known as Oaksterdam--you can smell the stuff in the air in almost any major thoroughfare. However, this is just medical marijuana, not recreational marijuana; and, I don't believe this is going to become a norm. I think it is a fad and nothing more than the understandable backlash that several generations of obscene marijuana prohibition has fostered.

Personally, I don't believe that public smoking of weed will ever be allowed to be as completely legal, common, and accepted in the public as cigarettes smoking once was; mostly, for the reason that you've just stated--it is quite annoying to most people who don't smoke. Besides, smoking really isn't the healthiest way to consume anything. It's best when turned into candy, chocolate, popcorn, pretzels, cookies, brownies, or almost any other kind of food--as is already available in medical marijuana facilities. It doesn't bother anyone else and can be consumed even by people with severe respiratory problems. In my opinion, in the future, smoking things will become a lost art simply because of the health and social complications. Till then we are just going to have to be tolerant if we really value our own individual freedoms. To insure our freedoms we have to completely respect the freedoms of others. Of course, in return, they will have to respect our freedom to breath clean air.

chuckle8 ~ I believe you might be mistaken. If I remember correctly, marijuana does not cure cancer. If it's regular recreational use helps to prevent cancer--or any other disease--that is unknown as of yet; although, there are good reasons to warrant studies in that area. More importantly there are plenty of people who are willing to volunteer for those studies and the only thing preventing the research is the law. What it is known, is that the consumption of Cannabis eases the symptoms and discomfort of chemotherapy and other toxic pharmaceutical treatments used to treat cancer and other diseases. Basically, it eases pain, reduces stress, causes drowsiness, and stimulates appetite.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 27 weeks ago
#26

You've made excellent points regarding public smoking (regardless of the substance being smoked). I like your perspective about public pot consumption being most likely a fad and "backlash" against decades of prohibition. But like cigarette smokers, pot smokers should have some respect for the rights of non-smokers. Nobody should be exposed to either kind of smoke involuntarily. Even if pot smoke isn't the health hazard tobacco smoke is, it can still be unpleasant and annoying to the non-smoker. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 27 weeks ago
#27

DAnneMarc: Mary Jane brownies or Cannabis Cookies sounds good! :-))) But, I've never tried them.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 26 weeks ago
#28

Palin, you don't know what you've been missin'!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 26 weeks ago
#29

AIW: :-)

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 26 weeks ago
#30
Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 26 weeks ago
#31

Awww dang it. I hit the smiley face and got nothin'.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 26 weeks ago
#32

AIW: I can't get it to work either. I think that this Drupal site probably has not allowed smileys or they haven't set it up to work.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 26 weeks ago
#33

Palin, where did you get that great avatar?! It's the cutest l'il devil I ever saw. Please keep this one, if you can. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 7 years 26 weeks ago
#34

https://www.drupal.org/node/2041933
click on smiley-7.x-1.0.zip (assuming you have Windows)
Once it downloads, find the zip file and then right click on it.
then click on Extract all...
then find the extracted file with the same name (without .zip)
smiley-7.x-1.0/smiley/packs/kolobok
This should show all of the .gifs

Then you just use the above path when you create your new avatar on the thom hartmann "Edit your account"

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 26 weeks ago
#35

DAM -- First, I will repeat. I essentially know nothng I just say what Thom says. He said they ran a controlled test to see how much pot smoking increased lung cancer. To their surprise, they found the pot smoking group had a lower incidence of lung cancer. They also noticed that the pot smokers had less occurence of other kinds of cancer. Since the study set out to show the harm of smoking pot, the results were probably not widely distributed.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 26 weeks ago
#36

Yeah Chuck, it figures. Talk about cherry-picking! - AIW

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

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