The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kelly Trout,, 202-222-0722
Nick Berning,, 202-222-0748

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


the Senate passed a bill (H.R. 4213) that would retroactively extend
many harmful subsidies for polluting corporations if it becomes law.

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:

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."

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

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

(202) 783-7400