Foreign Companies Paid Billions to Run U.S. Crop Insurance Program
Twenty insurance companies in Bermuda, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and the U.S. were paid $7.1 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds from 2007 to 2011 to sell American farmers crop insurance policies, an Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis shows. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency paid these companies for administrative and operating expenses for the federally subsidized crop insurance program.
The agency also reported $8.1 billion in underwriting gains during the same period but has not disclosed how much of the gains each company received. EWG has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for this information.
Switzerland-based ACE Limited was the second largest recipient of these payments raking in $1.5 billion. Australia-based QBE Insurance Group ranked third, with $832 million; and Bermuda-based Endurance Specialty Holdings Limited ranked fifth, with $446.3 million.
“More and more tax dollars are flowing to foreign insurance companies and away from farmers, working families and the environment,” Scott Faber, EWG vice president for Government Affairs, said at a media briefing on the 2012 farm bill. “These insurance subsidies are being provided with no strings attached to the largest and most profitable farm operators and foreign insurance companies.”
Payment to companies for administrative and operating expenses are only part of the growing cost to taxpayers of crop insurance. Taxpayers also pick up the tab for the subsidies that lower the premiums farmers pay. The taxpayer’s share of these premiums has soared from $1.5 billion in 2002 to $7.4 billion in 2011.
Crop and revenue insurance is now the primary federal support for farm income. In 2011, taxpayers forked over $5.2 billion on direct and Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) payments and $7.4 billion on insurance premium subsidies.
“Insurance programs are now more valuable to farmers than direct payments,” said Craig Cox, EWG senior vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “There are far less costly ways to help America’s farmers in times of need.”
For more information, click here.
For the first time ever, a vegan restaurant in France has been awarded a coveted Michelin star.
- Vegan Food Goes Mainstream at U.S. Colleges - EcoWatch ›
- 8 Fast Food Chains That Serve Local, Organic, Vegan Food ... ›
- 15 of the Best Vegan Restaurants in America - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Ice cream samples in the Chinese municipality of Tianjin have tested positive for traces of the new coronavirus.
- Coronavirus Found on Frozen Food Imported to China. Should You ... ›
- Here's How to Clean Your Groceries During the COVID-19 Outbreak ... ›
- Young Children May Have Higher Coronavirus Levels, Raising ... ›
By Galen Barbose, Eric O'Shaughnessy and Ryan Wiser
Until recently, rooftop solar panels were a clean energy technology that only wealthy Americans could afford. But prices have dropped, thanks mostly to falling costs for hardware, as well as price declines for installation and other "soft" costs.
A 2018 study estimates that installing rooftop solar systems on low- and moderate-income housing could provide up to 42% of all rooftop technical potential in the residential sector and improve energy affordability in low-income communities. NREL
- Federal Energy Regulators Reject Attack on Rooftop Solar Policies ... ›
- A 'SmartFlower' Grows in Chicago: Innovative Solar Design Powers ... ›
- Construction Begins on Keystone XL Pipeline in Montana - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Approves Keystone XL Pipeline, Groups Vow 'The Fight Is ... ›
- Keystone XL Pipeline Construction to Forge Ahead During ... ›
California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
- Bond Fire South of LA Forces 25,000 to Flee - EcoWatch ›
- 'Explosive' Southern California Lake Fire Spreads to 10,000 Acres ... ›
- 10 Wildfires Ignite Around Los Angeles in Unseasonable Wind and ... ›