Following on from the interesting discussion in relation to the Sustainable Future by the recent IF talks in Sydney, Andrew Fallshaw has pointed us towards this article and follow up series by Jon Taplin’s blog, Boing Boing and more recently Good.

Boing Bing goes on to point out:

Not all fossil fuel subsidies are evil. (Frankly, I think we can drop the fossil fuels part and say “not all subsidies are evil”, but I digress.) The Environmental Law Institute—who compiled the research and created this graphic—points out a great example: The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. That’s calculated under subsidies to fossil fuels. It’s by no means a big part of fossil fuel subsidies, but it’s there.

This accounting doesn’t include all spending. For instance, there are programs that, arguably, spend money as a direct result of the fossil fuel industry, but that aren’t technically subsidies. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, say, or, more controversially, money spent on military campaigns at least partially influenced by a desire to stabilize/defend/friendly-fy oil-producing countries.

Read the full paper this graph is based on. See the full graph with footnotes.

Good makes the point in synergy with the majority of the panel for the IF talks:

The cost of coal and oil are artificially cheap, meaning we use them more, and the companies that extract and sell them reap absurd profits. Is there any neoliberal economic defense for this or is it simply an unfair product of industry lobbying?

Is there, anyone know?