Zombies of the Tax Code: Why Fossil Fuels Subsidies Seem Impossible to Kill

"For the fourth year in a row, President Biden is trying to eliminate federal tax breaks for coal, oil and gas companies. But fossil fuel subsidies have proven difficult to stop."

"SHINGTON — As a candidate in 2020, Joseph R. Biden Jr. campaigned to end billions of dollars in annual tax breaks to oil and gas companies within his first year in office.

It’s a pledge he has been unable to keep as president.

Mr. Biden’s budget request to Congress this week was his fourth attempt to eliminate what he called “wasteful subsidies” to an industry that is enjoying record profits.

“Unlike previous administrations, I don’t think the federal government should give handouts to big oil,” Mr. Biden said after his inauguration. His new budget proposal calls for the elimination of $35 billion in tax breaks that would otherwise be provided to the industry over the next decade.

Mr. Biden’s wish is opposed by the oil industry, Republicans in Congress and a handful of Democrats. In Washington, it seems, oil and gas subsidies are the zombies of the tax code: impossible to kill."

Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times March 15, 2024.

Source: NYTimes, 03/18/2024