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« They all lived together in a little crooked house | Main | Why does Lord Deben misreport the science of extreme weather? »

Green disinformation: worse than we thought

The other day, I mentioned a report by a pair of NGOs on the subject of fossil fuel subsidies, noting that the usual suspects in the mainstream media had failed to mention that in the UK oil companies are subject to a supertax on top of the Corporation Tax to which all companies in the country are subject.

It now seems that the report was even more misleading than we thought.

The report by Oil Change International is a complete distortion of facts. The authors have described as “subsidies” normal deductions of expenses and capital costs from revenues for calculation of taxable income. These are procedures which are followed in all fiscal systems in all countries for all forms of business and investment endeavors. Under normal definitions of “subsidy” the United States has no subsidies for the oil and gas industry which is why Obama has taken no steps to reduce them.

I wonder if Roger Harrabin is going to investigate?

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Reader Comments (24)

There are basically three flavours of "subsidy":

1. In the OECD oil companies, like all other companies, deduct expenditure from income to determine a profit that is taxed. In the UK oil companies are paying tax at a much higher rate of 62 to 81%. The Greens would like to pretend that deducting costs from taxable income is a subsidy.

2. In OPEC and other oil producing nations, the state is providing energy at discounted rates to citizens in order to make energy more affordable.

3. In the OECD, consumers are paying subsidies to renewable energy producers.

1 is not a subsidy at all, 2 is a subsidy paid by the State to consumers, 3 is a subsidy paid by consumers to renewable energy producers.

Nov 17, 2014 at 10:59 AM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

The irony is that greens play on the hatred of oil companies caused by how expensive it is.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

The other huge irony is the fact that the only energy producers in the world that actually seem to be receiving significant subsidies are the renewables producers.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

Euan: Subsidy calculations can also include the sums that fossil fuel producers should be paying because of the external effects of their CO2 and other emissions.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris Hope

Some truth??

The Porcine Airforce won't even open the hangar doors.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Here's my analysis of how North Sea Oil is taxed

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

@ Chris Hope - this CCd fro my own blog.

Jacob, I never got around to the multiple layers of taxation on FF. What the population and politicians need to understand is that when they look around at their built environment that absolutely everything they see was built by FF (a little bit by nuclear and hydro) and that all the wealth and services flowing through our society comes from FF. Virtually all of it. Some of it in the way of multiple layers of taxation and the rest leveraged out of the work FFs do for us. The energy from FF is as important to our well-being as water and oxygen. The sooner society wakes up to that fact the better.

There is no such thing as a free lunch in the energy world. As you know the extent of harm done by CO2 is disputed - certainly on this blog and on my own. To factor in externalities to notional subsidies is near impossible to do. But if it were to be done then it would be important to factor in the external benefits as well as costs, .e.g. CO2 fertilisation leading to greater plant / crop growth. And to apply this to all forms of energy production from flooded valleys to REE mining in China.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

40 years ago the Green NGOs were the little guy up against the big corporations and a lot of people had sympathy for them.

Now they are the big corporations - attacking the little guys - and now they pretend to be the little guy and use their massive corporate might to potray the little guys they oppose as "big corporations".

And journalists like Roger Harrabin, sit in the BBC office swallowing the crap from these greenspin corporations.

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered Commentermike Haseler

Euan Mearns at 12:39

Thanks for that - succinctly put as always.

And to add to the upside of CO2, one has to consider the usually ignored downside of renewables - from requiring FF (or nuclear) backup for when the wind don't blow and the sun don't shine to the millions of litres of diesel burnt for offshore wind turbine support boats. FF generation works much less efficiently when not used as base-load so more CO2 anyway, added to the vast amount of cement (more CO2) and rare-earth metals used for turbines.

Oh! and then there are the birds etc.........................................

Nov 17, 2014 at 1:20 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

Let's end all "subsidies" and see just what forms of energy generation are actually viable without sucking the taxpayer's teat.

Nov 17, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

@Chris Hope

<I>,,,Subsidy calculations can also include the sums that fossil fuel producers should be paying because of the external effects of their CO2 and other emissions. ..

The IPCC and Stern agree that current CO2 is a net benefit. So we should be paying fossil fuel producers an extra bonus.

Nov 17, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Chris Hope,
You state: "Euan: Subsidy calculations can also include the sums that fossil fuel producers should be paying because of the external effects of their CO2 and other emissions."
Nov 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Chris Hope

Chris please share with us what those external costs are.. And compare those with the per unit subsidies of so-called renewable energy: The loss of open lands, the danger to flying creatures, the added consumer costs, the drowned river valleys, the backup power generator capacity, the direct hard dollar subsidy costs, the higher utility prices,etc.

Nov 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Chris Hope
Subsidy calculations, if you want to go down that route, can also include any activity carried out by any individual or corporate entity that requires remedial action to be taken at someone else's expense and is not confined to fossil fuel producers, much as it seems you might like it to be.
On that basis we are all subsidising the fracking protesters who are making no direct contribution as far as I am aware towards the additional policing costs incurred by their activities. Nor, for that matter, towards the additional burden on the local authority to clear up the mess they leave behind. I wonder what their reaction would be to a few £80 spot fines for littering. Probably think they were being discriminated against.
As hunter says, there are similar polluting costs involved in wind and solar power which the green blob conveniently chooses to forget and which more than offset any "savings" in CO2 (assuming that reducing CO2 actually represents a benefit to mankind which I would take issue with) which might be attributed to them.
And let us not forget the idiocy of providing financial support to the use of biomass which is less efficient and as a result dirtier than coal before you take into account the unwarranted destruction of forests, the processing of the trees to woodchip and the transport of those same chips 4,000 miles by diesel-powered ships when the power station that then uses them is sitting on top of a coalfield.
You guys really away with the fairies sometimes!

Nov 17, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Chris Hope: "Subsidy calculations can also include the sums that fossil fuel producers should be paying because of the external effects of their CO2 and other emissions. "

So that explains why DRAX is burning wood instead of coal? I don't think so.

Nov 17, 2014 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

I wonder if Roger Harrabin is going to investigate?. His navel, possibly : His &é"' possibly a green lie ? Never. He'd be at it Dawn til dusk, 365 days a year.

Nov 17, 2014 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

@cwhope - If I make an allegation against your business that it causing $Xmillion damage to society, but I am unable to prove that ..would you say " Fine yes my business is getting an $Xmillion subsidy" ?
- Would you say that when someone makes an unproven allegation against MMR vaccine producers that those producers are receiving a subsidy equivalent to parents cost of dealing with autism ?

- The reason why renewable subsidies exist is that authorities are unable to prove their case that : There are significant negative external effects from the CO2 and other emissions from the products of fossil fuel producers. If they could they would simply go to a court of law prove the case and win damages for reparation. It can't so iheir perverse solution is instead of punishing fossil fuels producers it will reward their competitors.

- There are positive and negative effects of any product. eg. when a drug company screws up like Thalidomide they lose in court and pay damages .. It would be ridiculous to leave Thalidomide un-sued and instead award their competitors an $Zmillion subsidy each.

Nov 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Chris Hope,

"Subsidy calculations can also include the sums that fossil fuel producers should be paying because of the external effects of their CO2 and other emissions."

Yes, they can if you want to totally redefine what the word "subsidy" means. But why do that? Why not use words according to their current usage. It makes communication much easier.

Or we could go full la-la land with it if you prefer. I'm subsidising you to drive a car, because i'm not at the moment demanding money from you to pay for all the environmental damage that you do with it. I'm also subsidising you to wear clothes. And to eat food. In fact, I'm subsidising you to breath out all that evil CO2. You are subsidy.

There. Now can we get back to normal reality?

Nov 17, 2014 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

With regard to Roger Harrabin, why don't you email the story to him and ask him?

Nov 17, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterGladiatrix

Gladiatrix 7:06 PM

It'd probably be more fun to parody Harriban's response mimicking his style and vocbaulary - it's all one way traffic with the propaganda merchants.

The MSM in general don't care to be challenged - I repeatedly and politely, sticking to the facts contact The Press Association from time to time seeking corrections. They have yet to deign to respond to one of the targets of their output....

I'd add that they aren't interested in a £2 million fraud / maladministration by a government body - peanuts / too small and "not in the public interest" - apparently.

Nov 17, 2014 at 7:55 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Why the surprise? He is knee deep in the Green Quagmire . come on the truth is out there but no where near him!

From Wiki
"He also chairs the sustainability consultancy Sancroft International, recycler Valpak,[2] GLOBE International – the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment, the Association of Professional Financial Advisers and Veolia Water UK.[3] He is a non-executive director of Veolia Voda, the Catholic Herald and the Castle Trust – a mortgage and investment firm.[4] He is also a trustee of the ocean conservation charity, Blue Marine Foundation.

..... During this time he actively pursued environmental causes, introducing an Early Day Motion on Climate Change to Parliament along with Michael Meacher and Norman Baker. He was also instrumental in the passing of the Climate Change Act in 2008."

Nov 17, 2014 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:51 PM | mike Haseler

And journalists like Roger Harrabin, sit in the BBC office swallowing the crap from these greenspin corporations.

I'm afraid that you will find that he is not one of the foot soldiers in the green campaign but fairly well positioned in the organisational hierarchy. He is a true believer and profits handsomely from the cult.

Nov 17, 2014 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Nov 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Chris Hope

Is your definition of 'subsidy' in the Newspeak dictionary or is it just a product of goodthink?

Nov 17, 2014 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

I sent an email to President Obama several years ago explaining in detail how taxes are calculated on oil and gas production and explicitly showed that there are no E&P industry subsidies.

Maybe I used the wrong email address, because he continues to claim that these subsidies exist.

Nov 18, 2014 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterLJ

Disinformation? If you want to talk about disinformation, how about this one: they say that there is such a thing as anthropogenic global warming and that they know what causes it - the greenhouse effect. That is as big a disinformation they spread as I can think of now. I am not talking about the fact that carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere or of the fact that we keep making more of it. I am talking about the fact that carbon dioxide, once in the atmosphere, does not and cannot warm the air, period. Observed facts tell us that but somehow their "scientists" do not want to hear about them. The simplest observation is this: there has not been any warming of any kind for the last 18 years. During this same time period atmospheric carbon dioxide has steadily increased as a glance at the Keeling curve will tell you. According to the Arrhenius greenhouse theory used by the IPCC such addition of carbon dioxide to air should cause warming by the greenhouse effect. And accordingly, the Arrhenius theory has been predicting warming for every one of these 18 years and getting nothing. If you are a scientist and your theory predicts warming but you get nothing for 18 years in a row you are justified in discarding that theory in the waste basket of history. There is a place for it there, right next to phlogiston, another failed theory of heat. Now that the Arrhenius theory is proven to not work we need another one that actually does work. Such a theory is Miskolczi greenhouse theory, MGT. When Arrhenius predicts phony warming, MGT predicts what we see: putting carbon dioxifde into the atmosphere does not warm the air. But how come if the Arrhenius law is based on the absorption laws of physics? This turns out to be only a half truth. It is true that he showed in the laboratory that pure carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation and thereby gets warm. Knowing that there is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, he next calculated that if you double the amount of CO2 in the air global temperature will go up four or five degrees Celsius. Using more accurate values for his parameters the present day value of this Arrhenius doubling is 1.1 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately this is not alarming to anybody. But IPCC realized that there were other greenhouse gases besides carbon dioxide in the air, of which water vapor seemed quite potent. Their problem was that Arrhenius had nothing to say about it. You could of course calculate what happens when the two gases get together but they did not have the mathematical expertise for that. In the end, they decided that absorption by water vapor simply adds to the absorption by carbon dioxide so that the total absorption is actually two or three times more than carbon dioxide alone. This way, that basic Arrhenius absorption was boosted up to call it a dangerous warming, one that goes over the two degree limit set by politicians. But in 2007 a bomb shell lands in the form of the Miskolczi greenhouse theory. As soon as the IPCC got wind of what was in it they started to suppress and lie about it in the internet. It was black listed, no articles that were published could refer to it, and grad students were kept ignorant of it. In science, if there is doubt about some theory, articles are written questioning it. These are peer reviewed and become part of scientific literature questioning the assertions made by the theory. The IPCC gang dared not to go this route because they did not have the expertise to even understand it. Miskolczi had solved the difficult mathematical problem of the interaction of several greenhouse gases that simultaneously absorb IR in the atmosphere. This is where it differs from Arrhenius that can handle only one - carbon dioxide. According to MGT, the two most important greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and water vapor, form a joint optimal absorption window in the IR. Its optical thickness is 1.87, determined by Miskolczi from first principles. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb just as the Arrhenius theory tells us. This, however, will increase the optical thickness. And as soon as this happens water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The added carbon dioxide will of course keep absorbing but the reduction of carbon dioxide will keep total absorption constant and no warming takes place. And no warming means that the enhanced greenhouse warming, the alleged cause of anthropogenic global warming, does not even exist. This explains why there is no warming now despite constant addition of CO2 to the atmosphere. It also proves that AGW is simply a pseudo-scientific fantasy, concocted by over-eager climate workers to justify the greenhouse hypothesis.

Nov 25, 2014 at 2:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterArno Arrak

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