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Just why did EIA put out this release today? Whose political purpose is being served?

Or am I being too much of a skeptic to think political purpose is involved?

Energy Information Administration
EIA Reports
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585

APRIL 9, 2008
2:06 PM 4/9/2008

Federal Energy Subsidies and Support Double between 1999 and 2007

Total Federal energy-specific subsidies and support to all forms of energy are estimated to have reached $16.6 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2007, according to "Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007", released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

This amount is more than double the level, in real terms (2007 dollars), of the estimated $8.0 billion shown in the last EIA report on subsidies completed in May 2000.

Tax expenditures, one of four types of subsidies examined in the report, have more than tripled since 1999, rising from $3.2 billion in 1999 to more than $10.4 billion in 2007.

This report, which was undertaken at the request of Senator Lamar Alexander, shows that Federal electricity subsidies and support per unit of production (dollars per megawatthour) varied widely by fuel in FY2007. Coal-based synfuels (refined coal) that are eligible for the alternative fuels tax credit, solar power, and wind power received the highest subsidies per unit of generation, ranging from more than $23 to nearly $30 per megawatthour of generation.

The smallest subsidies on a per unit basis were for coal, natural gas and petroleum liquids, and municipal solid waste, all at less than $0.45 per megawatthour of generation.

"Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007" can be found on EIA's web site at:


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member photo I don't think you're too skeptical to question the intent of a report requested by a Republican Senator just before an election in which his party is being widely criticized for insufficient support of renewable energy and excessive support of coal and oil.

The "per unit of production" is a carefully selected metric, and not surprising. The dollar figures are more interesting. Follow the link to the report, and see the table in chapter 2, page 14. Most of the big numbers and big increases are in fossil fuels. Exception: the sudden boost in support for biofuels (farmers) following the infamous "addicted to oil" State of the Union Address.

Thanks for asking why.
# Posted By Denis DuBois | 4/15/08 9:12 PM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate

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