Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill

Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill
© Greg Nash

A group of House progressives is renewing a push for Democrats’ multi-trillion spending bill to repeal certain fossil fuel subsidies that have been on the books for years. 

In a new letter to congressional leadership, six top members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including Chairwoman Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalWhich proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? Proposals to reform supports for parents face chopping block Democrats see light at end of tunnel on Biden agenda MORE (D-Wash), said that they were “dismayed” that the House’s current version of the legislation didn’t include such measures. 

“There is no reason that the fossil fuel industry deserves special privileges over other businesses,” they wrote.

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Specifically, they call to end certain benefits for “intangible” costs like wages, repairs, supplies and another that lets some companies deduct as much as 15 percent of the revenue they get from a well.

While Senate committees haven’t yet released their versions of the spending bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration with Sinema rises Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Guns Down America's leader says Biden 'has simply not done enough' on gun control MORE’s (D-N.Y.) office has indicated that the package is expected to address fossil fuel subsidies. 

The upper chamber’s finance committee put forward legislation earlier this year tackling the subsidies. 

Wednesday’s letter, signed by Jayapal, Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaDemocrats brush off risks of paring down spending package Proposals to reform supports for parents face chopping block Democrats see light at end of tunnel on Biden agenda MORE (D-Calif.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDozens of Democrats call for spending bill to pass 'climate test' House progressives call on Biden to end all new fossil fuel permitting Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed MORE (D-Minn.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerTo sustain humanity COP26 must lead on both climate and biodiversity Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Milestone bill would bar imports linked to forest destruction MORE (D-Ore.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeHouse progressives call on Biden to end all new fossil fuel permitting Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Dip in COVID-19 cases offer possible sign of hope 'I was one of the lucky ones': Three Democrats recount their abortion stories to panel MORE (D-Calif.) and Marie Newman (D-Ill.), is not the first time House Democrats have pushed for such a policy. 

More than 50 Democratic members pushed for similar action in a letter in August. The Biden administration has also called for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies. 

Meanwhile, the future of the $3.5 trillion bill remains up in the air as moderates, particularly in the Senate where Democrats can't lose a single vote, have expressed reticence about it.