Politics

Senators Look To End Fossil Fuel Subsidies With The 'End Polluter Welfare Act'

| by Ethan Brown
Sen. Bernie Sanders.Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota have co-sponsored new legislation that aims to end subsidies for oil companies, stating that their bill will save billions of taxpayer dollars.

The bill, formally known as The End Polluter Welfare Act, has set out to remove tax breaks for energy corporations that make billions of dollars of profit a year from the oil and gas industry.

According to the senator's and the congressman’s research, “in 2011, the Big Five oil companies alone made $137 billion in profits. During the first quarter of 2012, the Big Five oil companies earned a combined $33.5 billion, or $368 million per day.”

One piece of the proposed legislation would eliminate the tax breaks that save the companies millions of dollars each year. The act would remove all subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, halt taxpayer funding for research and development of the industry and cut back on royalties the fuel corporations receive, The Huffington Post reported.

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Sanders and Ellison first announced this legislation in November 2013, but did not make much noise until April 22, when it was brought up again on Earth Day.

The sponsors believe their updated legislation would save $110 billion over the next decade by removing and reforming the current legislation that allows for this wealth to occur.

Despite making little movement in Congress, the legislation does have support from outside groups, such as Taxpayers for Common Sense, Oil Change International and Sierra Club.

Sanders, who describes himself as a “democratic-socialist,” is expected to announce at the end of April whether or not he will challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.

Sources: The Huffington Post, U.S. Senate

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons