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Scott Walker’s untold story: Jobs lacking after big state subsidy of Kohl’s stores

On the presidential campaign trail, Gov. Scott Walker told the story so often it became fodder for comedian Jimmy Fallon. Walker buys a shirt at a Kohl’s department store for next to nothing, thanks to a deeply discounted price and his wife’s Kohl’s coupons.
“Tonette usually is with, and she’ll reach into her purse and pull out the Kohl’s Cash,” Walker is fond of saying. “And next thing you know, they’re paying me to buy the shirt.”
The line gets a knowing chuckle from the audience. After all, who doesn’t like a good deal?
Walker has used that story, along with references to carrying brown bag lunches and riding a Harley-Davidson, to portray himself as a regular guy who just happens to be seeking the Republican nomination for president.
But there’s another Kohl’s story Walker doesn’t tell.
It’s about the $62.5 million package of tax credits given to Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. — the biggest state subsidy for creating jobs under the Walker administration — that three years later isn’t generating the promised jobs or capital spending.
The deal allows Kohl’s to collect tax credits annually for each created job that meets certain criteria — even if that position vanishes after a year.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. later tightened its guidelines to require that companies must retain jobs for five years to receive tax credits, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has found.
So far, Kohl’s has earned nearly $6.7 million in tax credits for creating jobs, WEDC spokesman Kelly Lietz said. Taking into account the net total of 473 newly created jobs that remain since the contract was awarded in 2012, that amounts to a cost to taxpayers of about $14,000 per job.
The award to Kohl’s, which was aimed at helping it build a new $250 million headquarters and add 3,000 jobs in Wisconsin, was done without the normal financial scrutiny the quasi-public WEDC gave to most of its other deals, the agency has acknowledged.
Enterprise zone tax credits like those received by Kohl’s are designed to provide incentives for expansion of existing businesses or relocation of “major business operations” from other states to Wisconsin.
Lietz defended the subsidies, noting that the previous administration under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle also offered incentives to Kohl’s, a leading national retailer with 1,164 stores, including 40 in Wisconsin.
“As one of Wisconsin’s largest employers and one of the state’s fastest-growing companies over the last 30 years, Kohl’s has received a number of awards from the state during the administrations of governors of both parties,” Lietz said in an email.
At least one of the awards from the Doyle administration previously raised questions. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in 2007 that Kohl’s got a $4.15 million subsidy from the former state Department of Commerce even though it created just one-fourth of 1,000 promised new jobs under the deal.
As part of its 2012 WEDC award, Kohl’s is required to retain 3,783 jobs in the enterprise zone around its Menomonee Falls headquarters to qualify for job-retention tax credits. Kohl’s contract with WEDC lists the company as having 4,500 employees in the enterprise zone.
WEDC spokesman Steven Michels said some of those jobs didn’t meet the minimum qualifications for the tax credits — which are limited to full-time positions paying at least $30,000 a year plus benefits — and aren’t included in the calculation of job growth.
Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick declined to comment on the Kohl’s deal except to note that any company failing to fulfill terms of its contract could be subject to clawbacks or denial of tax credits.
However, the Legislative Audit Bureau found in May that as of 2014, the agency “did not have procedures for recovering previously awarded tax credits from recipients that did not meet contractual obligations, and it did not consistently act in a timely manner to recover tax credits.” Michels said such a policy has now been developed as each deal closes out.
“We will assess the performance of an awardee, and we will make recommendations for any penalties or clawbacks as part of that process,” he said.
The audit and a recent legislative hearing revealedthat until just a few months ago, the 4-year-old agency failed to fully verify the number of hours worked and wages earned by employees of companies that got taxpayer subsidies from WEDC. But Michels said Kohl’s has submitted detailed payroll records for each of the years it qualified for job-creation tax credits.

Deals lacked scrutiny
Kohl’s is among 24 companies that got at least 28 awards after a lack of formal review of the financial viability of the projects and soundness of the companies by the agency, which was created by Walker in 2011 in an ultimately unsuccessful quest to create 250,000 private-sector jobs in four years. Michels said the awards were made in the agency’s first 15 months of existence before staff reviews were required for all deals.
WEDC disclosed the lack of staff reviews this summer after the Wisconsin State Journal reported that it did not fully investigate a failing Milwaukee construction firm owned by a major Walker donor that left taxpayers on the hook for a $500,000 unsecured loan that created no jobs.
Nearly half of the $126 million awarded without thorough financial scrutiny went to Kohl’s. Like Walker’s deeply discounted shirt, the Center found the three largest deals awarded without full financial review also were very good deals — for the companies.
WEDC’s contracts with Kohl’s; Plexus Corp., a Neenah custom manufacturer; and Kestrel Aircraft, a Superior airplane manufacturer, don’t specify how long jobs created with taxpayer subsidies must be retained. Michels said the agency changed the rules in 2014 to require that future enterprise zone credits be awarded only for jobs retained for at least five years.
The Plexus deal also set the number of existing jobs the company must retain at hundreds less than the number of jobs they already had — meaning it could shed employees while still claiming job-creation credits. (A similar enterprise zone deal that would have allowed Ashley Furniture Industries of Arcadia to get $6 million even if it laid off half of its workforce was reported to be scuttled in March after details were revealed by the Wisconsin State Journal.)
The Plexus contract with WEDC requires the company to retain 1,000 jobs, but Plexus already had at least 1,792 employees, according to the WEDC database. Plexus bills itself as a “product realization” company that transforms others’ concepts into products and delivers them to target markets.
Without naming the company, the Legislative Audit Bureau highlighted the Plexus deal as one that violated state law. Auditors found that in 2013-14, the company qualified for $517,000 in job-creation tax credits in even though its workforce shrank by 307 employees. A spokeswoman for the manufacturer did not respond to several messages seeking comment.
Michels said since 2012, Plexus has added more than 300 employees in Wisconsin — nearing its target of creating 350 jobs — and now reports having 2,327 employees.
“As is the case with any large company, there are going to be fluctuations in employment over the years, but this is a long-term incentive to help a global company with over 12,000 employees establish a state-of-the-art operations center that cements the Fox Cities as Plexus Corp.’s headquarters,” Michels said in an email. “The company has until 2019 to meet its overall deliverables. The Fox Cities, however, will benefit from Plexus’ investment for much longer.”
WEDC board member Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, said the board was unaware WEDC staff had not fully evaluated some deals in the early months of the agency. Lassa said she and fellow Democratic board member Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha have been forced to file open-records requests to get information from the agency they are charged with overseeing.
“We were given one paragraph of information about each of the deals,” Lassa said. “Again, without seeing the underwriting documents involved in these plans, we can’t know how WEDC staff assessed these deals at the time. We relied on WEDC staff to provide us with the information we needed to make sound decisions.
“We know now that didn’t always happen.”
Michels countered that most of the deals — which were struck before the agency adopted a policy in 2013 requiring staff reviews on all projects — have turned out well. Michels said 10,000 jobs have been either retained or created, and the awards have spurred capital investment of “close to $500 million.”
On Tuesday, Barca and Lassa called for establishment of a state “Department of Economic Opportunity” to replace WEDC, which Lassa labeled as “irretrievably broken.”
“Our new agency will remove opportunities for cronyism and address outsourcing concerns by requiring that a company retain its employment levels and that the state reclaim taxpayer money if companies don’t meet their commitments,” Lassa said.
WEDC board member Sen. Rick Gudex, R-Fond du Lac, announced Wednesday he planned to hold a series of five informational hearings around the state for the Senate Economic Development and Commerce Committee to hear ideas from local business leaders and economic development officials about “things the Legislature can do to assist job creators.”

Kohl’s tale takes turn
The ending to this Kohl’s story has not yet been written; the company has until 2023 to claim all of its tax credits.
But some key parts of the plot are already known.
Kohl’s, which suffered through several years of stagnant sales growth, did not build a new $250 million headquarters. Instead, it acquired and renovated space near its main office northwest of Milwaukee, so far saving more than $100 million in capital costs — and spending far less than promised.
The Kohl’s deal was signed by Paul Jadin, then-CEO of the state’s economic development agency. He said he was “stunned” when Kohl’s failed to follow through on its plan to build a new headquarters, “because I know how much time and effort went into that search.”
And after what appeared to be a quick start toward its jobs goal, the company has been sliding backward ever since. In 2013, a year after the award, Kohl’s notified the U.S. Department of Labor that it was outsourcing 67 jobs to India, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Nevertheless, Kohl’s reported adding 979 jobs in Wisconsin that year. The net number of new jobs claimed went down to 794 in 2014. And this year, Kohl’s reported another net drop in jobs, creating a total of 473 jobs since the award in 2012. That means Kohl’s remains more than 2,500 jobs short of its goal of creating 3,000 jobs.
Lietz said WEDC expects all large companies, including Kohl’s, to experience “fluctuations in employment.” He added that “Kohl’s has created nearly 500 jobs since 2012, and the company has until 2023 to meet its overall job creation goal.”
One-third of credits claimed
So far, Kohl’s has earned $18.3 million in tax credits, about 30 percent of the eligible amount. In addition to nearly $6.7 million in job credits, the company has earned about $11.7 million for investing $134 million to acquire and renovate additional space for its corporate headquarters, including the new Kohl’s Innovation Center, which houses technology employees.
“We’ve invested heavily in our headquarters, including our recently opened Kohl’s Innovation Center, and are continuing to make additional investments,” spokeswoman Jen Johnson said.
In an email to the Center, Johnson attributed the loss of 506 of the newly created jobs between 2013 and 2015 to attrition and “other factors.” She did not respond to a follow-up email asking for further explanation.
Jadin noted Kohl’s must fulfill all terms of the contract to qualify for the full $62.5 million — which now appears unlikely. He noted that taxpayers will pay only for the jobs created and capital investments made.
“Are we going to get what we paid for?” Jadin said. “I would say yes.”
The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (www.WisconsinWatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

Republican, Democratic board members of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. speak out

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha:

“Nobody would expect that any organization would not do their due diligence before awarding funds … or look at the legal imcumbrances the companies have … That’s just good governance. That just shocks me, frankly, that this ever took place … We (board members) only find out about things when we pick up the newspaper. …. They stonewall us (Barca and fellow Democratic board member Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point). … (But) even WEDC, with all its problems, certainly has helped companies that otherwise have indicated they would not have been able to have grown and expanded or moved to Wisconsin.”

Sen. Rick Gudex, R-Fond du Lac:

“I think it gets kind of lost in the discussion, but … if you take all the charge-offs and delinquencies that we have had in the history of WEDC, compared to the actual good and the economic growth that we have seen because of this agency, it would just be a speck on a map. I think what the headlines should be saying is that in every (one of the) 72 counties here in the state of Wisconsin, someone has been touched by WEDC. Somebody has been employed and taken their kids to the shopping center around Christmastime because of WEDC.”

Obama administration: No quick fix if court kills health subsidies

President Barack Obama’s health secretary told Congress this week that she has no administrative actions available to fix the “massive damage to our health care system” that would result should the Supreme Court invalidate federal subsidies that help millions of Americans buy health care coverage.

The letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell continued the administration’s tough stance in its building confrontation with Republican lawmakers in advance of an expected Supreme Court decision in June.

In that case, conservatives and Republicans argue that Obama’s 2010 health care law only provides government subsidies for people buying health coverage through marketplaces established by the states. Just 13 states established their own marketplaces, while the remaining 37 use the federal government’s HealthCare.gov.

A victory by the plaintiffs could mean that people who have enrolled this year for policies through HealthCare.gov could not get subsidies. More than 8 million have enrolled, and most would qualify for aid.

In her letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Burwell reiterated her warnings that a win for the plaintiffs would cause millions to lose health coverage because they could no longer afford it. That, in turn, would mean that disproportionately high numbers of sick, lower-earning people would continue buying health coverage, driving up health insurance costs for everyone else, she said.

“We know of no administrative actions that could, and therefore we have no plans that would, undo the massive damage to our health care system that would be caused by an adverse decision,” Burwell wrote.

For months, Burwell and other administration officials have angered GOP lawmakers by stating they have taken no steps in preparation for a Supreme Court victory by the plaintiffs.

“By admitting they have no contingency plan to assist the millions that may lose subsidies, the administration confirms how the misguided law is unworkable for the American people,” Hatch said in a written statement.

By the time the court rules, Hatch and other top congressional Republicans hope to have proposals ready to protect people who now rely on the subsidies while curbing other parts of the law.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., among those crafting a GOP response to the court case, said Burwell’s letter acknowledges that Obama “does not have the authority to use administrative actions to undo the decision.” Republicans have objected to past Obama administrative actions on subjects like immigration and global warming.

Legal standing questions unlikely to derail Supreme Court arguments on ACA

Despite questions about four challengers’ legal right to bring their lawsuit, the U.S. Supreme Court probably will not be deterred from deciding whether millions of people covered by the health care overhaul are eligible for the subsidies that make their insurance affordable.

The court will hear arguments in early March over whether the health law allows people in states without their own insurance markets to receive federal tax credits that reduce coverage costs. The number of uninsured could rise by 8 million if the subsidies disappear, two independent think tanks have estimated.

The challengers, who live in Virginia, object to being forced to get insurance or pay a penalty. If the subsidies were not available, they would not pay a penalty for failing to be insured because even the cheapest health plan would be too costly, according to sworn statements they filed in 2013.

But the Wall Street Journal reported that two are Vietnam veterans who probably could obtain health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, meaning they would not be affected by the subsidies issue. The newspaper and Mother Jones reported that a third plaintiff lived in a motel at the time that her address and age were used to calculate the cost of insurance. She now lives elsewhere in the state.

The fourth is a substitute school teacher in Richmond who said she could not recall how she became involved in the case.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, an anti-regulatory group, is paying for the legal challenges and recruited the four.

The right to get into court on an issue is known as standing.

“The important thing is there has to be someone in the case who is actually injured by the law,” said Tara Grove, a law professor at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. “That is what determines whether the court has jurisdiction.” It takes just one person who has been harmed to keep a lawsuit alive, Grove said.

The Obama administration or the justices could ask lawyers for the challengers to address the questions that have been raised about the four. The Justice Department contended that two would have earned too little to be subject to the penalty, but lower courts rejected that argument. The administration did not challenge the presence of any of the four at the Supreme Court.

The court could raise the topic on its own. But given its decision to take up the health law even in the absence of the usual requirement that lower courts be divided on an issue, several legal experts doubted the plaintiffs’ situations would derail the case.

“For a test case, these are not the best people one could put forward. It’s hard for them to demonstrate that they’ve had an actual injury,” said Robert Dudley, a professor of government and politics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

But the court creates its own rules on whether it can reach a decision in a case, Dudley said. “I can cite the rules, but it’s up to the court and the court will often take some very shaky cases because an issue is important. I honestly think this won’t affect the court much,” he said.

Questions about a party’s standing seem to become important at the Supreme Court only when a majority is unwilling to settle an issue or the court is unable to produce five votes for any particular outcome. In 2013, the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban foundered on the issue of standing. The result left in place a lower court ruling holding that the ban was constitutional.

Jonathan Adler, a law professor who helped formulate the challenge to the subsidies, said efforts to sink the case over questions about the plaintiffs fit with the desire of the administration and health law supporters to delay a resolution of this case. Adler said they believe that it becomes harder to undo the tax credits the longer people receive them. “It would surprise me if the information in the affidavits wasn’t true and there was suddenly any problem for all the plaintiffs in this case,” Adler said.

Supporters of the law said questions about the plaintiffs make a broader point about the case.

“To me, what all this confirms is that people who weren’t really affected by the statute are bringing ideologically and politically based claims that will substantially affect millions of other people. This is the use of the courts as a political forum,” said Robert Weiner, a former Justice Department official who was deeply involved in the 2012 Supreme Court case that upheld the law.

There’s nothing unusual about interest groups on the right and the left driving suits and seeking plaintiffs willing to be the faces of a court fight, Grove said. “You know courts are influenced to some degree by the facts of the case,” she said. “It’s just good lawyering to make sure you have clients who are sympathetic.”

On the Web…

Filing in health care case: http://tinyurl.com/ks86nmr 

Flashback 2014: Legal challenges threaten to destroy Obamacare

“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned in June in her 35-page dissent in the Hobby Lobby case. She called Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion a decision of “startling breadth.” 

Alito said Hobby Lobby, which has a chain of 500 arts-and-crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a small Pennsylvania furniture company, cannot be forced to comply with the Affordable Care Act mandate that health care plans, at no extra charge, cover contraception for women as part of a range of preventive benefits.

The court, which previously had ruled in favor of “corporate personhood,” said closely held companies — those with a few people owning more than 50 percent — can hold religious views.

The court’s four liberal justices said the decision to extend religious protections to for-profit companies will have untoward effects and, as Ginsburg wrote, closely held corporations can be large or small, public or private. Cargill is a closely held company. So is Koch Industries.

And the court’s 5-4 decision weakened the Affordable Care Act, which said birth control should be covered by insurance in the same manner in which other preventive drugs and treatments are covered.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., was dismayed and disappointed by the decision. “No one should be denied access to health care because of her employer’s religious beliefs,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said the ruling “continues a dangerous trend of favoring the rights of corporations over people, but also tramples on health-care decisions made between a woman and her doctor.”

Political challenges to overturn or weaken the Affordable Care Act continued into the fall, before and after the midterms.

Meanwhile, opinion polls showed more negative attitudes than positive attitudes toward Obamacare and, as the health care marketplace opened for a second year, many Americans learned their current plans were being canceled and premiums were on the rise.

“I’ve defended the Affordable Care Act because we needed to do something,” said Madison resident Amy Beadle. “But I’m deeply disappointed in what it offers me, as a consumer. I paid less for insurance before it.”

As Beadle was looking for a new and affordable plan, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge from the right that threatens the tax credits for millions — including Wisconsinites — buying insurance through the federal exchange.

The challenge, said Ron Pollack of Families USA, is “the most serious existential threat” facing the Affordable Care Act.

Back to U.S. Supreme Court: Justices ‘Obamacare’ subsidies

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama’s health care law — a case that threatens subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums.

The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that upheld IRS regulations that allow health-insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states. Opponents argue that most of the subsidies are illegal.

The long-running political and legal campaign to overturn or limit the 2010 health overhaul will be making its second appearance at the Supreme Court. The justices upheld the heart of the law in a 5-4 decision in 2012 in which Chief Justice John Roberts provided the decisive vote.

The case probably will be argued the first week in March, with a decision expected by late June.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest promised a vigorous defense before the high court.

“This lawsuit reflects just another partisan attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and to strip millions of American families of tax credits that Congress intended for them to have,” Earnest said.

In the appeal accepted late last week, opponents of the subsidies argue that the court should resolve the issue soon because it involves billions of dollars in public money.

“The need for a quick and final resolution of this question is undeniable. This ‘subsidies-for-everyone’ rule affects nearly every person across the country, health insurance policyholders, workers and employers, taxpayers, and state and local governments,” said Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is paying for the legal challenges to the health care law.

The health care law provides taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance for people who don’t have access to coverage on the job. More than 7 million people are currently enrolled and most are getting help, which is keyed to household income and the cost of a benchmark plan.

The issue at the Supreme Court is whether the wording of the law limits insurance tax credits only to consumers who live in states that have set up their own insurance markets, known as exchanges.

Only 16 states have set up their own exchanges, the Obama administration said in court papers.

In the other 34 states, including Wisconsin, more than 4.5 million people are receiving subsidies to pay their insurance premiums. And the aid is considerable, covering an average of 76 percent of the premiums.

Customers now pay an average of $82 on total monthly premiums averaging $346. The federal subsidy of $264 a month makes up the difference.

What made the court’s intervention surprising was the lack of disagreement among federal appeals courts that typically is a requirement for Supreme Court review. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the absence of conflicting rulings when the justices rejected gay marriage appeals last month.

But at least four justices, needed to grant review, apparently agreed with the challengers that the issue is important enough to decide now.

Supporters of the health care law were flabbergasted and accused the court of veering into politics. The news came a week ahead of the second open enrollment season for subsidized private health insurance under the law.

“All of the general guidelines that the court traditionally uses in determining whether it should schedule an appeal are totally absent in this case,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group that supported Obama’s health overhaul from its inception. Pollack called the court’s action “an unusual political act.”

The legal challenge to the subsidies is “the most serious existential threat” facing the Affordable Care Act, said Pollack.

When the court upheld the law in 2012, it still made a major change by ruling that the law’s Medicaid expansion for low-income people was optional for states. So far 27 states and the District of Columbia have accepted it. This week’s Republican election success makes it unlikely that the remaining 23 states will move any time soon.

The subsidies issue is being fought in several courts. In July, the Richmond, Virginia-based appeals court upheld Internal Revenue Service regulations that allow health-insurance tax credits under the law for consumers in all 50 states.

On that same July day, a panel of appellate judges in the District of Columbia, sided with the challengers in striking down the IRS regulations. The Washington court held that under the law, financial aid can be provided only in states that have set up their own exchanges.

In October, the entire Washington appeals court voted to rehear the case and threw out the panel’s ruling, eliminating the so-called circuit split. The appeals argument has been scheduled for Dec. 17, but that case now recedes in importance with the Supreme Court’s decision to step in.

The case is King v. Burwell, 14-114.

State, federal subsidies for fossil fuel production top $37 billion

Federal and state subsidies for fossil fuel production in the United States tops $37 billion a year, according to a new report from Oil Change International.

“Cashing in on All of the Above: U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Subsidies under Obama” outlines the subsidies going to the fossil fuel industry. In total, the report catalogs more than $37 billion in U.S. federal and state support for the fossil fuel industry in 2013.

The report focuses on exploration and production subsidies, which are tied to the “All of the Above” energy policy in the United States.

Much of the increase in the value of fossil fuel production subsidies can be attributed to the increase in oil and gas production in recent years, according to OCI. Federal fossil fuel production and exploration subsidies, for example, have grown in value by 45 percent since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

“While scientists implore world leaders to leave fossil fuels in the ground to avoid a climate catastrophe, our analysis has found that billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are going to digging ourselves a bigger climate hole every year,“ David Turnbull, campaigns director of Oil Change International, said in a news release. “Rather than putting down the shovel, our government is using even more taxpayer dollars to buy a backhoe.”

Shakuntala Makhijani, the report’s author and a researcher at OCl, said, “The science is clear that at least two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate impacts — it is time for the U.S. government to show leadership and immediately end the massive subsidies that encourage their production.”

The organization credited the Obama administration with attempts to reduce subsidies and criticized Congress for stymying those efforts.

The report notes that in 2011-12, the fossil fuels industry spent $329 million in campaign finance contributions and received $33 billion in federal subsidies for that same period, marking a 10,000 percent return on investment for the industry.

“The ‘All of the Above’ energy strategy is not only climate denial — it’s climate denial that is funded with more than $20 billion in taxpayer support each year.” said Steve Kretzmann, OCI’s executive director. “Until our representatives in Washington and around the country find the courage necessary to put people’s interests ahead of rich polluters, this theft of our tax dollars is likely to continue. The next step for saving the climate should be clear: Stop funding fossils.”

The report can be found at http://bit.ly/2014FFSubsidies.