Hundreds of protesters called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies

Yesterday hundreds of demonstrators dressed in referee uniforms called the US Congress to end the huge tax breaks and other subsidies to Big Oil and the fossil fuel industry.

Bill McKibben, founder of the movement and one of the key speakers at the event, said that this year the US Congress will give "billions of dollars in taxpayer money" to the fossil fuel industry:

"The thing we really want to start talking about today is the fact that this year, as most years, Congress will vote to give subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Billions and billions of dollars in taxpayer money. Not because they need a subsidy. We’ve known how to burn coal and gas and oil for 250 years. There’s no secret to it that we need to subsidize for them to figure out. And it’s not because they need the money. They’re the most profitable industry on earth. Exxon made more money last year than any company in the history of money. What’s going on instead is that they are giving small presents to our legislators, and in return our legislators are giving them big presents with our money."

+Bernie Sanders, the only democratic socialist in the US Senate, who fought to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was also there to give his support. "We've got to end all of the tax breaks for the oil companies and coal companies and I'm going to introduce legislation to do just that," Sanders promised the demonstrators.

"Ending tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies would reduce the deficit by more than $40 billion over the next 10 years. Sanders' legislation will end those tax breaks and tens of billions of dollars in other special subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

The five largest oil companies in the United States have earned about $1 trillion in profits over the past decade. Meanwhile, in recent years, some of the very largest oil companies in America like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, paid absolutely nothing in federal income taxes. In fact, some of them have actually gotten rebates from the Internal Revenue Service."

You can read more about the huge tax breaks and subsidies that the fossil-fuel industry receives every year on Green Blog:

See photos from the event here:

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