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Senate Votes to Undermine Obama Effort to Cut Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Friends of the Earth calls on House members to avoid being rolled by their Senate peers
WASHINGTON - March 11 - Yesterday,
the Senate passed a bill (H.R. 4213) that would retroactively extend
many harmful subsidies for polluting corporations if it becomes law.
The Senate bill differs significantly from a similar bill that passed the House of Representatives late last year in that the Senate version would extend tax breaks for liquid coal, refined coal, bioelectricity and other dirty energy. President Barack Obama has joined with the G20 group of major industrialized countries in calling for an end to such polluter giveaways.
Friends of the Earth's President, Erich Pica, responded with the following statement:
"President Obama has shown leadership by calling for an end to end to fossil fuel subsidies. Yesterday the Senate-and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus in particular-undermined those efforts by extending tax credits for some of the worst fossil fuels. House members who did the right thing by rejecting these giveaways should stand firm when differences between the houses are worked out."
Tax credits for dirty energy that were ended by the House but reauthorized by the Senate include handouts to the following industries:
- Biomass electricity (See Friends of the Earth's letter against the biomass tax credits here)
- "Alternative fuels" including liquid coal (The House removed liquid coal from the list of qualifying fuels, but the Senate added it back in. See Friends of the Earth's letter against the Alternative Fuels Tax Credit here.)
- Refined coal
- Low sulfur diesel
- Coke or coke gas