Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Infographic: Subsidies Propping Up Oil Profits & Polluting the Climate

Subsidies: Propping Up Oil Profits & Polluting the Climate

Oil Change International & Sierra Club

January 2017



Almost half of all oil production expected to come online in the United States is only economic if the public props up private investments with taxpayer handouts.

The other half of oil production would happen even without subsidies. That means our government is handing out billions of dollars in subsidies that simply line oil company pockets.

This infographic compares the economic viability of oil production in discovered but undeveloped U.S. fields with and without subsidies. It shows that at current prices, almost half of all oil production is dependent on federal and state subsidies.

That equates to 19.6 billion barrels of artificially economic oil that, once burned, would emit 8.1 billion tonnes of CO2. That’s about 1% of the world’s remaining carbon budget, or equal to 100 coal-fired power plants operating for 23 years.

Click here to download the infographic.

Comments (2)

  1. Harry Bryant says:

    The same old story… forget Democrat / Republican. What we have today is the corporatocracy vs the democracy. Which do you suppose will win all votes on oil subsdies? It ain’t us folks. The corporatocracy must be evicted from our government and the power returned to the people. Start with overturning Citizens United. End all government subsidies. Fire all congressmen who take money from corporations. Term limits. And on and on.

  2. Karen Genest says:

    It is time to eliminate all oil and gas subsidies and provide and maintain subsidies for wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.
    We should promote jobs and communities through the development of climate-friendly renewable transportation as well as developing energy efficient buildings.

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