On July 4, The New York Times published a front-page story on vast government subsidies that accrue to energy companies. Such subsidies have been under fire for some years by economists and environmentalists. Following are some substantive studies of this topic:
International Energy Agency (IEA), Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Bank, Analysis of the Scope of Energy Subsidies and Suggestions for the G-20 Initiative: Joint Report (June 16, 2010).
OECD, Measuring Support to Energy − Version 1.0 (May 2010).
Jennifer Ellis, The Effects of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: A Review of Modeling and Empirical Studies (March 2010).
International Monetary Fund (IMF), Petroleum Product Subsidies: Costly, Inequitable, and Rising (February 25, 2010).
Resources for the Future, Eliminating Subsidies for Fossil Fuel Production: Implications for U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Markets (December 2009).
Environmental Law Institute, Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008 (September 2009).
Gilbert Metcalf, “Using Tax Expenditures to Achieve Energy Policy Goals,” American Economic Review (May 2008).
Energy Information Administration (EIA), Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets, 2007 (April 2008).
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Reforming Energy Subsidies (2008).
Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense and U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Green Scissors: Cutting Wasteful & Environmentally Harmful Spending (2004).
European Environment Agency, Energy Subsidies in the European Union: A Brief Overview (2004).
UNEP and IEA, Energy Subsidy Reform and Sustainable Development: Challenges for Policymakers (April 2001).
Cato Institute, “Big Oil” at the Public Trough? An Examination of Petroleum Subsidies (February 2001).
Renewable Energy Policy Project, Federal Energy Subsidies: Not All Technologies Are Created Equal (July 2000).
EIA, Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets, 1999: Energy Transformation and End Use (May 2000).
EIA, Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets, 1999: Primary Energy (September 1999).
OECD, Improving the Environment Through Reducing Subsidies, 2 parts (1998).
Greenpeace, Fueling Global Subsidies to Oil in the United States (June 1998).
EIA, Federal Energy Subsidies: Direct and Indirect Interventions in Energy Markets (November 1992).
World Resources Institute, Money to Burn? The High Cost of Energy Subsidies (October 1987).
Note: The Global Subsidies Initiative has an extensive database of materials on energy subsidies.
Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Read his most recent column here. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).
July 2: Weekly Roundup
July 1: Focus on Economics
June 30: Focus on International Economics
June 29: Focus on Fed and Inflation