JUNE 25, 2012
If you need a specific example of how your tax dollars are wasted on needless subsidies to the already wealthy fossil fuel industries, then look for further than the Bureau of Land Management's corrupt coal land leasing program.
When BLM wants to make coal-rich public lands available for "auction," it basically allows a mining company to write the lease terms and then be the only applicant for the lease. You can imagine that mining companies are not writing these leases with the taxpayers in mind.
There is such an "auction" this week, according to Climate Progress, which has an interesting examination of BLM's "lease by application" process. This one involves the North Porcupine tract of the taxpayer-owned Powder River Basin, in Montana.
Peabody, one of the country's main coal mining companies, was allowed to write the lease to ensure its own profit, which means the company will pay next to nothing while making tons of money selling off the coal buried there to Asia and other foreign markets.
Let me repeat -- this is public land, rich in coal that is owned by the taxpayers, yet the government is allowing a mining company to lease the land at whatever cost the company wants, ensuring it gets filthy rich at our expense.
And when I say "filthy rich," I mean filthy. Coal is one of the dirtiest forms of energy we use, and it contributes heavily to global warming, which threatens the entire planet.
Ripping off taxpayers while ruining the planet. Yay government.
At Environmental Action, we're working hard to end the fleecing of taxpayers at the hands of the fossil fuel industry. We have a petition supporting bills in both the House and Senate that would end the Billion Dollar Bonanza of subsidies and tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry, and this Saturday we will host a big rally in Houston, Texas, at the doorsteps of Big Oil's international headquarters, to show them that America wants clean, green energy.