Dan Olson responds to letter to the editor

By February 25, 2015Climate Change, Coal, Oil & Gas

To see the actual IMF document referenced below, click here.

It’s jarring to see your credibility attacked in a letter to the editor – a bit less so, though, after you realize the writer’s argument is baseless.

In my bi-weekly column I have mentioned, twice, a report by the IMF that clearly and unequivocally states that global subsidies for fossil fuel energy amount to $1.9T per year. If a reader only gets as far as the second paragraph of the first page of this rather dense piece, you would know this statement to be true.

That notwithstanding, George Thompson writes that my use of that number is an “absurd misrepresentation of reality.” I’m utterly baffled.

The IMF report looks at “pre-tax” and “post-tax” basis reporting for its calculation of subsidies. I reference the “post-tax” basis because I think it is a more accurate representation of the true subsidy given. Mr. Thompson – in his own words – is “not sure that I even understand what that [“post-tax” basis] means.” That does not stop him from decrying my use of the number as an exaggeration.

To help Mr. Thompson understand why I use the “post-tax” basis calculation for subsidies, I will dedicate a future column to exactly that topic, a topic he thinks I’m desperate to avoid. It only makes my case stronger. As for the pure and utter slander that flows from his pen, I expect nothing less from people grasping at straws to preserve their dying ideologies. They are dying for good reasons, and my column will continue to make those reasons crystal clear.

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