01 March 2013

Stinking Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Worldwide, governments subsidize fossil fuel use far more than renewables:

The US doesn't make the list of the top 25 countries granting these subsidies, but the huge oil companies that get the subsidies -- Shell , ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips -- rake in huge profits selling heating oil, jet fuel, gasoline and diesel in the US, those profits augmented by the subsidies paid out by governments in Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.  

The graphic is from an article from Treehugger, which also points out that the environmental, health, and economic costs of mitigating pollution and dealing with its effects aren't even included in those amounts. 

What costs?  Well, take for instance the cost of health care, which as we're reminded on a minute-to-minute basis these, days, is spiraling.  A short list of conditions well know to be caused or exacerbated by air pollution includes heart and lung disease, as well as damage to kidneys, liver, brain, and nervous system.  

Plus, recent research suggests that increases in autism, ADHD, and other learning disabilities could be attributable to a variety of environmental toxins, including car and truck exhaust.

The US should be levying pressure on Iraq, Saudia Arabia, and Russia to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. We also need to take the lead world-wide in developing alternative energies.