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Pennfuture: PA subsidies for fossil fuel cost $2.9 billion

December 7, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The PennFuture Energy Center for Enterprise and the Environment released a study on December 6, detailing current subsidies for fossil fuels in Pennsylvania, which, including tax exemptions, tax credits and grants, total $2.9 billion per year.

“Despite all the woe and consternation by some about incentives for new clean energy technology, like solar and wind power, the big dirty secret is that the highly profitable, fully mature fossil fuel industry is subsidized to the hilt,” said Christina Simeone, director of the PennFuture Energy Center. “Because of these subsidies, coal, oil and natural gas have been chosen as the energy winners‟ in Pennsylvania. And the taxpayers are in many cases footing the bill.

“While pundits like to claim that all they want is for the free market to reign supreme, there is simply no free and unfettered market for energy in Pennsylvania,” continued Simeone. “Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, while still developing, are starting from behind and staying behind, as these subsidies continue. If there truly were a level playing field, Pennsylvania’s vibrant wind and solar industries would be even more successful than they have been.”