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House of Representatives Passes the Build Back Better Act

by Tyler Kruse

November 19, 2021

Americans are simply asking for a healthy planet for our kids, our loved ones to get care when sick or hurt, and good quality jobs that allow everyone to put food on the table.

© Sarah Silbiger / Greenpeace

In response to the House vote on the Build Back Better Act, Janet Redman, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director said:

“Today the House committed to much-needed investments in deploying clean energy, a civilian climate corps program, and environmental and climate justice grants. However, their failure to eliminate billions of dollars in handouts of our tax money to prop up the fossil fuel industry means Congress continues to fund racist impacts of fossil fuel pollution[1], and further lock-in death and destruction from extreme droughts, wildfires, and storms fueled by the climate crisis. At COP26 John Kerry told the world that fossil fuel subsidies are the definition of insanity[2]. It’s time for Congress to follow through on these public statements. As the Build Back Better Act moves to the Senate, we’re looking at Sen. Schumer to pass a bill that eliminates fossil fuel subsidies. Our tax dollars should support us, not kill us.

“70 percent of Americans are worried about global warming and 55 percent are saying that people in the US are being harmed by it right now[3], yet fossil-fuel-puppet Republicans and coal millionaire Manchin want to continue to hand money to the industry driving us towards climate catastrophe. The Senate must listen to the majority of Americans who are simply asking for a healthy planet for our kids, our loved ones to get care when sick or hurt, and good quality jobs that allow everyone to put food on the table.”

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Notes
[1] Fossil Fuel Racism Report – Greenpeace USA
[2] John Kerry says fossil fuel subsidies are the ‘definition of insanity.’ – New York Times
[3] Dramatic increase in public beliefs and worries about climate change – Yale Climate Change Communication

 

About fossil fuel subsidies

  • Fossil fuel companies receive $15 billion every year in direct government subsidies.
  • Big fossil fuel companies claimed $8.2 billion in 2020 from the CARES Act pandemic relief bill and still laid off 16 percent of their workforce.
  • The US government has propped up the coal, oil, and gas industry for decades, despite the fact that a majority of voters want to end fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Eliminating just a single corporate tax break – the Intangible Drilling Cost subsidy – would reduce new oil drilling by 25 percent.
  • These subsidies don’t always lead to jobs. Peter Erikson of the Stockholm Environment Institute summarized research in a Congressional hearing revealing that, “over 96% of the value of the subsidies in the tax code goes directly to profits over and above the minimum investment hurdle rates that would be required to actually make those new investments happen.” (Source) (Full paper)
  • The UN Secretary-General described the latest IPCC climate science report as a “code red moment for humanity.” In the same statement, he called on countries to end all fossil fuel subsidies as a commonsense policy response to the report.
Tyler Kruse

By Tyler Kruse

Tyler Kruse is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy.

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