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Research Reports

Estimating U.S. Government Spending on Coal: 2002 - 2010

Authors: 
John Pendergrass, Sara Gersen, Nina Robertson
Date Released: 
September 2013

A new ELI study finds that the federal government provided approximately $25.425 billion in financial support for coal production, transport, use, or waste disposal during the period 2002-2010. The majority of these dollars —$16.214 billion—are attributable to tax benefits. Of these tax benefits, the single largest category was the nonconventional fuels tax credit, providing $12.22 billion to coal.  This credit is no longer available to producers of most coal-derived fuels and is set to sunset for all nonconventional fuels from coal by 2014, decreasing total coal support by 47 percent. The report focuses on federal government support for coal through direct spending and its equivalent in foregone revenue collection.

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