Thanks to an obscure tax provision, the United States government stands to pay out as much as $8 billion this year to the ten largest paper companies. And get this: even though the money comes from a transportation bill whose manifest intent was to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, paper mills are adding diesel fuel to a process that requires none in order to qualify for the tax credit. In other words, we are paying the industry--handsomely--to use more fossil fuel. "Which is," as a Goldman Sachs report archly noted, the "opposite of what lawmakers likely had in mind when the tax credit was established."
If we are subsidising the paper companies, could we also tell them to reduce the cost of paper to newspapers to help keep them going as part of the fourth branch of government?
The bigger question is why in the world are we letting paper companies put diesel in their process when we are finally getting rid of the chlorine process?
Photo from blog.tourismthailand.org