Clean | Green | Sustainable

Pulp & Paper Industry’s Boondoggle Could Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion

Posted by Matthew Koehler on June 2, 2009

The US pulp and paper industry has figured out how to use an unintended tax loophole in the 2005 highway bill to basically transfer up to $10 billion in taxpayer funds right into their own packets.  Essentially every man, woman and child in the US is being forced to give $30 to the industrial dinosaurs in the pulp and paper industry.  If that doesn’t get your blood boiling, throw in the fact that this money is to compensate the pulp and paper industry for burning an additional 20 billion gallons of diesel!

For a look at how this issue is playing out in Montana, check out the Missoula Independent’s coverage.
You can also learn more by reading this letter that was sent to Senator Max Baucus, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, by 25 environmental groups working to make the pulp and paper industry more sustainable and responsible.

Even more information can be found in this recent Wall Street Journal article, which opens with: “The Obama administration wants to stop billions of dollars of tax credits and direct payments to the paper industry under a tax provision originally intended to promote alternative fuels for motor vehicles.” Make sure to see a statement from a  US Treasury official quoted in the article who said, “Right now this does appear to be a transfer from the taxpayers to this industry.”  Talk about a “redistribution of wealth!”

Finally, no matter where you live in the US, please contact Senator Max Baucus (the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee) and ask him to end this tax loophole as soon as possible.  In April, Senator Baucus actually spoke out strongly against this boondoggle saying, “Unless we plug this loophole, the federal government is liable for billions in credits for black liquor in 2009 alone, even though the credit was never intended for this fuel…We are working to undo that unintended consequence.”  However, since that time, the Pulp and Paper lobbyists have been breathing down Baucus’ neck using the same tired, old rhetoric of the past.

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One Response to “Pulp & Paper Industry’s Boondoggle Could Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion”

  1. […] Pulp & Paper Industry’s Boondoggle Could Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion […]

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