Earth Doctor Rx for Survival

Subsidies

Subsidies, energy subsidies,
Washington can’t function without them;
Fossil fuels, it’s half of a trillion;
Nuclear, it’s so many billions.
Ethanol never made sense at all,
Without the wherewithal of our tax dollars.
They’d really be blue, oh, what will they do
If we didn’t give them subsidies?

(Instrumental)
They’d really be blue, oh, what will they do
If we didn’t give them subsidies?

Germany has energy policy
To make their economy work for the people .W
ind and sun require no warfare.
And fighting is the ticket to nowhere.
And Germany will get their prosperity
Without the tyranny of political lobbies
What have they got that we all have not?
They’ve got a democracy !

Lyrics ©Doug Hendren and Nancy Beall Performed by Doug Hendren Original parody of “All of Me”, by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons (1931).

To Download Song, CLICK HERE.

About the Issue

Did you know that if all US energy subsidies were stripped away today, wind would be competitive and Nuclear would not? Do you know how much money we pay every year to support the coal, gas and oil industries?  Most do not, because these costs are carefully hidden from view. The politics, economics and general direction of the United States are heavily controlled by the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries. The professional lobbyists for these industries wield enormous influence over the US Congress. This influence is both direct, by giving large amounts of money to members of Congress, but also indirect, by funding rightwing organizations such as Americans for Prosperity (Koch Brothers), The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and others, who are able to manipulate policy to suit their private financial interests. This is a mockery of both democratic process and “free markets”. These organizations work systematically to deceive the public about the need for, and the feasibility of developing, a strong clean-energy program in the United States.  They have worked successfully for years to undermine the ability of our people and our government to understand science, including the scientific reality of climate change. Industry supporters claim that wind and solar energy “cannot compete” with coal, gas , nuclear and oil energy without “subsidy” support.    The truth of the matter, however, is just the opposite: The nuclear and fossil fuel industries, which are mature industries,  continue to receive much larger subsidies than renewable sources. Conventional energy subsidies are estimated at $50-100 billion per year.  In addition to direct subsidies (incentives, tax loopholes, etc.), there are also the negative “externalities” associated with these industries (extreme weather events, environmental devastation, medical costs, pollution, military conflict), which we all have to pay for as well. Government subsidies are an important tool to encourage the development of young, immature industries, until they can compete fairly with established industries.  In contrast,subsidies paid mature, profitable industries cannot be justified.  They represent unwarranted influence of these industries over our people and our government.  For example, Exxon-Mobil was the most profitable corporation in the history of the world last year. Why are we subsidizing Exxon? The answer is easy: It has nothing to do with their need, and everything to do with their political influence.  Corporate money spent on influencing Congress is extremely profitable, paying returns of 100-to-1 or more.   How is your 401(k) doing?  With profits like this, corporate lobbying will go on as long as we allow it! For a chart comparing the size of various federal energy subsidies, click here. To find out how much money your representatives receive from the dirty energy industry, click here.

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