With the current debate over ending oil producers’ subsidies the question arises as to what subsidies do the producers actually get. It is a surprisingly complicated question. Wind producers also get subsidies that take complex forms—investment tax credits, production tax credits, mandates, property tax exemptions, etc. But the major federal subsidy for wind producers is the option to take a 30 percent investment tax credit or to receive a 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour production tax credit.
“2.2 cents” doesn’t seem like much, but, depending on the time of year, it falls somewhere between 25 percent and 100 percent of the wholesale price of electricity. Forty percent if frequently used as the average.
So, what would an oil-production subsidy look like if it were the same magnitude?