Federal Electricity Subsidies: Information on Research Funding, Tax Expenditures, and Other Activities That Support Electricity Production

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Electricity is vital to our daily lives, powering homes, businesses, and industries. Presently, electricity is generated largely by coal and other fossil fuels and nuclear power, with hydropower, and, to a lesser extent, renewable energy sources, such as wind. Because of electricity's importance to producers, consumers, and businesses, the federal government has undertaken a wide range of programs to develop the electricity sector, which includes fuel suppliers, electric utilities, and others in the electricity industry. These programs have sought to, among other things, develop the nation's ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. October 26, 2007.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Government Accountability Office Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Electricity is vital to our daily lives, powering homes, businesses, and industries. Presently, electricity is generated largely by coal and other fossil fuels and nuclear power, with hydropower, and, to a lesser extent, renewable energy sources, such as wind. Because of electricity's importance to producers, consumers, and businesses, the federal government has undertaken a wide range of programs to develop the electricity sector, which includes fuel suppliers, electric utilities, and others in the electricity industry. These programs have sought to, among other things, develop the nation's electrical infrastructure, influence the types of fuels used to produce electricity, increase the use of renewable energy, and limit the harmful effects of electricity production. These programs are financed through federal subsidies, broadly defined as payments made or benefits provided by the federal government to encourage certain desired activities or behaviors. For example, the federal government has, for many years, funded research and development (R&D) on fossil fuels, nuclear energy, renewable energy, other energy technologies, and related efforts through the Department of Energy (DOE). In addition, the federal government has provided favorable tax treatment, such as tax credits to companies that make certain types of energy investments. These tax preferences--which are legally known as tax expenditures--result in forgone revenue for the federal government. The revenue losses can be viewed as spending channeled through the tax system. As requested, we are providing information on (1) federal funding DOE receives for electricity-related R&D, including funding by type of fuel; (2) tax expenditures the federal government provides to subsidize electricity production, including expenditures by type of fuel; and (3) other ways the federal government subsidizes electricity. As discussed with congressional offices, we examined federal electricity-related subsidies over a 6-year period, from fiscal year 2002 through fiscal year 2007."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 26, 2007

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Electricity Subsidies: Information on Research Funding, Tax Expenditures, and Other Activities That Support Electricity Production, report, October 26, 2007; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297307/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.