Environment

U.S. Taxpayers’ Black Liquor Tab Surpasses $30 Billion

| by Andrew Langer

Dead Tree Edition, which has been a leading voice to expose ridiculous and wasteful “black liquor” tax credits, reported this week that “The cost of “green” energy subsidies involving the pulp and paper industry shot well past $30 billion today — with not a cent of it doing anything to help the environment.”

This, of course, is not a surprise but should still be shocking nonetheless. The facts (PDF) tell the tale of a greedy industry taking money directly out of taxpayer coffers, because the tax credits were “refundable” — so when companies lost money, we sent them a check from the U.S. Treasury.

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The doubly offensive nature of the issue is that the tax credits became a black liquor bailout to a few pulp and paper makers, who at the same time have been seeking protectionist tariffs on foreign products — basically, double-dipping on taxpayers and consumers to make sure we all pay artificially high prices.