Corporate welfare

Corporate welfare is a nickname that compares government subsidies to corporations with welfare payments to the poor. It is used to describe government subsidies of money, tax breaks or other favorable treatment for selected corporations. Studies show that about $100 billion is allocated in the federal government’s budget for all types of corporate welfare, not including tax loopholes or trade barriers. Two of the largest recipients of this aid are oil and agricultural corporations. Recent estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at about $35 billion per year, with 20% allocated to coal and 80% to natural gas and crude oil. Oil companies receive subsidies for oil exploration as well as for the exhaustion of oil and gas wells. Critics claim that besides wasting billions of dollars from our Treasury, these subsidies have led to a reckless search for oil in fragile environments like the deep ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico. They say the 2010 catastrophe at the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig can be directly linked to oil-friendly legislation over the last 20 years.

In a recent executive order aimed at combating climate change, President Biden has directed federal agencies to eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies and seek new opportunities to spur innovation, commercialization and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of S.1167 - End Polluter Welfare Act of 2021
Prospective Sponsor: Sen. Bernard Sanders (VT)

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