Sun Ready to Set on Breaks for Coal Based Liquid Fuels

(ELI) A new study from the Environmental Law Institute finds that the federal government provided approximately $25.425 billion in financial support for coal production, transport, use, or waste disposal during the period 2002-2010. The majority of these dollars — $16.214 billion — are attributable to tax benefits. Of these tax benefits, the single largest category was the nonconventional fuels tax credit, providing $12.22 billion to coal. This credit is no longer available to producers of most coal–derived fuels and is set to sunset for all nonconventional fuels from coal by 2014, decreasing total coal support by 47 percent.

Coal is the most significant source of energy in the United States and has been for years. Like most other energy sources, coal has received support from the federal government. The ELI report quantifies the amount the federal government spent to support coal during the period from 2002 to 2010. This report also identifies and, where possible, quantifies spending that benefited, but did not specifically target, coal.

This report focuses on federal government support for coal through direct spending and its equivalent in foregone revenue collection. This spending includes any action by the U.S. government that results in a cost to government and an identified benefit to coal production, transport, use, or waste disposal.

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