December 12, 2013

Fracking subsidies cut in budget deal

I read at Think Progress how the federal budget deal isn't great news for clean energy, but it does eliminate funding for a fossil fuel subsidy program, the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research Program. None of the articles I read provided details so I did a little googling.

It turns out that a focus of this program, created by the Bush administration, is to promote fracking. It sought to advance extraction with new methods in new areas, including gas shales, and coalbed methane.  For examples, check here, here and here. It pays for research projects which allow the industry to increase their profits at taxpayer expense.

Woohoo! This won't stop fracking, but it's worth celebrating that the budget agreement would end a program that uses tax dollars to promote a highly destructive, controversial process.

Obama has repeatedly called for ending much bigger oil industry subsidies but it doesn't seem to get much press coverage in between all the ads for oil companies, cars, and gas stations. Go figure.