Don't Tax Fuel That Generates Revenue

The authors of the article "Costly, Subsidized Energy Not Necessary," May 4, complain that "Washington spends tens of billions of dollars a year on subsidies, mainly to the nuclear and fossil fuel industries." Nothing could be further from the truth with respect to oil. The United States Department of Energy reported in a November 1992 study that oil generated nearly $2.2 billion in federal revenues more than it received in tax breaks in fiscal year 1992. However, renewable energy sources cost the govern ment an additional $635 million.

The authors argue that "it's better to let all energy options compete on economic merit" and do not acknowledge or object to the fact that federal taxes paid by oil companies help "subsidize" their favorite programs - energy conservation and the development of renewable energy supplies. They see no inconsistency between supporting a tax that would take even more money away from homeowners and their support for energy efficiency. Obviously, they believe that government is wiser in spending taxpayer dollar s than taxpayers themselves. William O'Keefe, Washington Executive Vice President American Petroleum Institute

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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