The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Pay Your Taxes—So the Oil and Gas Industry Doesn’t Have To
If you won’t be getting a refund this year, like I won’t, you’ve probably just finalized your tax return and signed a sizable check. I don’t necessarily agree with many of the things that U.S. taxpayer funds support, but that’s democracy, and the benefits of our democracy are manifold.
But it is especially hard for me to stomach the enormous U.S. tax expenditures that pad the record-setting profits of the oil and gas industry. The tax breaks enjoyed by the industry do nothing to lower the price of gas, but we taxpayers are left to fill the gaping hole these tax breaks create in federal revenues.
The tax breaks are many. Here are a couple that make it cheaper for the oil and gas industry to frack:
- Expensing of intangible drilling costs: The oil and gas industry can deduct up to 100 percent of what they spend to make and haul fracking fluids, and can do so in the year they use the fluid (in other words, they don’t have to spread the deduction over the life of a new well.) By giving the oil and gas industry this deduction up front in the first year, and not making them spread it out over several years like all other businesses have to do, we taxpayers are essentially giving the industry an interest free loan to frack.
- Percentage depletion allowance: Alternatively, many oil and gas companies are allowed to recover the total cost of drilling and fracking a new well based on their revenues, not based on what they actually spent to prepare the well for production. This is called percentage depletion (as opposed to cost depletion), and it means that a company that drills and fracks a well that gushes with oil and/or gas could recover, as a percentage of revenues from the well, more than it actually cost to drill and frack the well.
These and other taxpayer giveaways to the oil and gas industry will likely add up to an estimated $11 billion in Fiscal Year 2013. Of course, this is in addition to the costs that drilling and fracking pose to public health and the environment.
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By George Citroner
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.
But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.
It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.
For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.
He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.
But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.
By Julia Conley
Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.