The darkside of energy subsidies -- a planet held hostage by its appetite for fossil fuels
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/1/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
New reports show that fossil fuels are the most subsidized industries around the world. A report by the BBC blasts this reality, explaining that the industries are hardly "in need of a helping hand."
Energy subsidies send trillions per year up in smoke.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that over half-a-trillion dollars were spent on fossil fuel subsidies in 2012. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which looks at government subsidies for producers (instead of consumers) says that they received nearly $2 trillion in subsidies.
Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry remains one of the most profitable industries on the planet generating legendary amounts of wealth.
The BBC reports that fossil fuels are about 80 percent of our consumption, but that they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other harms.
The subsidies, according to the BBC, come in various forms. For example, some subsidies keep the costs of fuel down which encourages consumption. Other subsidies are paid to producers, making it profitable for them to pursue supplies of fossil fuels that would otherwise be unprofitable.
The problem with subsidies is threefold. First, the wealthy benefit the most from subsidies while the poor, who usually lack access to electricity and automobiles, benefit the least. Second, subsidies burn enormous amounts of government wealth on artificially manipulating prices and competition. Although the short-term gains are great, the long-term consequences could prove more severe. Finally, by encouraging consumption of fossil fuels the entire scheme contributes to carbon emissions and global warming.
The problem for governments is that subsidies are very popular with the people, despite their enormous costs. In half of all nations, the energy sector is controlled by the government. All fuel prices are manipulated by governments in a variety of ways including taxes on fuel. Large segments of the population are employed in the energy industries and most people are very sensitive to price shocks.
Any disruption to the status quo is typically met with public protests and can be politically expensive for elected officials. This makes it especially difficult for governments to impose new taxes on energy or to reduce subsidies.
Finally, many nations which manage their own energy production lack the ability to update their infrastructure, which means diminishing returns over time.
The subsidies paid to energy companies usually means there is less money for healthcare, education, and other infrastructure projects.
The BBC admits that while fossil fuel subsidies may go away, they will "be with us for a very long time" and getting rid of them will require massive global political effort.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MARCH 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians. That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
Scientists discover a way to turn CO2 into methanol, could THIS be the key to reversing global warming? Watch
Carbon dioxide has a bad reputation. It is criticized as the gas responsible for global warming. And while the global warming issue is more ... continue reading
Sea ice has reached its lowest levels in recent, recorded history according to NASA. Arctic sea ice reached a maximum that is well below ... continue reading
Scientists think they will have to rewrite the evolutionary history of the planet after discovering evidence of the first plants. Their ... continue reading
For decades, scientists have debated what is more responsible for global warming, human activity or nature? The answer to this question is ... continue reading
There's bad news for Californians following a seismic study that revealed a section of the San Andreas fault is due for a major movement. ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, March 28, 2017
- 7 inspiring quotes to change your life forever
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 HD Video
- Supermassive black hole discovered surfing gravitational wave HD Video
- Miracle baby defies odds after mother refuses doctors' abortion ...
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent - Day 28
- St. Venturino of Bergamo: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, March 28, 2017
- Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico calls out 'traitor' Mexicans HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, March 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, March 27th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.