HKS Authors

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Teresa and John Heinz Professor of the Practice of Environmental Policy


Fossil fuel subsidies represent a government failure. They are a form of spending, paid for by American taxpayers, to businesses in an industry that has long been profitable with negligible impact on production or employment. To the extent U.S. production subsidies increase hydrocarbon consumption, the adverse public health, climate change, and labor productivity losses from pollution resulting from fossil fuel combustion could exceed the market value of these fuels. These adverse public health and climate damages are disproportionately borne by low-income households and communities of color. The continuation of U.S. fossil fuel production subsidies undermines our government’s efforts to engage partners from across the world to reform and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as a key step in our response to the climate crisis.


Aldy, Joseph. "Testimony on the Elimination of Fossil Fuel Subsidies to the US Subcommittee on the Environment." US House Oversight Committee, April 22, 2021.