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Fossil Energy Subsidies: The Bottom Line

September 5, 2023

Recorded August 29 2023


In this week’s Frankly, Nate reacts to recent analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) critical of 2022 subsidies to fossil fuel. These subsidies – by IMF math totalling $7+ trillion – are not what they seem, resulting in widespread confusion on what is really going on.  By peeling back the layers of the onion on these oft-misunderstood benefits – Nate outlines what comprises these fossil fuel subsidies, who receives them, the purpose they serve, and who benefits from them (spoiler alert – we ALL do). How do these subsidies fit into the larger story of the huge energy surplus that fossil fuels have provided? What will it mean for societies when the subsidy that is fossil fuels goes away? Will we be prepared when the externalities – paid for in these subsidies – catch up with us and we need to learn to live with the aftermath of the Carbon Pulse?

Show Notes:

00:00 – Charts used in this Frankly + Additional Charts

01:15 – Anti-establishment

01:54 – Der Spiegel article on Nord Stream Pipeline

03:02 – IEA report on increase in fossil energy subsidies

03:17 – IMF blog update – 14% of GDP is subsidies to fossil companies

04:28 – Implicit vs explicit subsidies

08:45 – Tax credit subsidization

09:21 – Work added to our economy by fossil energy (Section 4.3)

10:45 – 14% of oil and gas reserves are held by public companies

11:28 – Exxon executives suppressing knowledge on Climate Change

12:31 – Fossil Fuel Depletion

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society and currently teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar at the University of Minnesota ‘Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament’   Nate is on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, IIER and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future.  Previously, he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of... Read more.