FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2012
350.org Launches Campaign to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies
WASHINGTON, DC -- 350.org founder Bill McKibben joined Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison on stage at the Capitol today to launch a new bill that would stop $113 billion in subsidies to the coal, oil, and gas industries over the next 10 years.
Over the coming months, 350.org, one of the groups that led the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, will be running an ambitious campaign to support the bill and get every member of Congress on the record on the issue of subsidies. The global organization will also be using its network to pressure leaders from other G20 countries to make good on their word to cut subsidies for fossil fuel companies.
“If we confine this effort to Capitol Hill, the fossil fuel industry will just drown us in dollars -- they could spend $100 billion fighting this thing and still come out on top,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org. “So, we’re going to take this fight to districts around the country and find other currencies to work in: our creativity, energy, and grassroots organizing power.”
The End Polluter Welfare Act would comprehensively abolish fossil fuel subsidies, saving taxpayers billions of dollars. It ends tax breaks, eliminates special financing, does away with taxpayer-funded fossil fuel R&D, and sets fair royalties policies to ensure the fossil fuel corporations pay their fair share. Click here
for more information on the bill.
“To get serious about stopping the climate crisis we need to stop funding the polluters who are causing the problem,” said McKibben. “It's bad enough that the fossil fuel industry is doing severe damage to our climate--but that we're paying them tax dollars to do it adds insult to injury.”
350.org sees a political opening in the high percentages of Americans that support the goal of ending fossil fuel subsidies. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll
found that 74 percent of Americans support “eliminating tax credits for the oil and gas industries.” A February pol
l by the Yale Project on Climate Change, found that Republicans oppose subsidies by 67 percent to 34 percent, Independents by 80 percent to 20 percent, and Democrats by 68 percent to 32 percent.
“Our legislation is the most comprehensive ever introduced,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “It ends all tax breaks, special financing arrangements, and federal research and development funding. We ensure that never again can a company like BP take a tax deduction for money spent cleaning up its own mess in the Gulf of Mexico,” he added, “and we close the loophole that lets tar sands oil pipeline operators avoid paying the oil spill clean-up tax.”
Starting today, 350.org is launching a signature drive for people across the country to add their support to the bill. Over the coming weeks, the campaign will be equipping its activists in all 50 states with the online and offline tools to birddog their members of Congress, organize in-district actions, and keep subsidies at the forefront of the national discussion.