This November, Vote Against Tax-Funded Climate Scams

Taxpayers are paying billions for greenwashed corporate boondoggles. Here are four massive climate scams we can fight at the polls.


This spring, people across the country have carried out the annual ritual of filing their taxes. At the same time, megacorporations are benefiting from huge tax credits and tax breaks, to the delight of their CEOs and shareholders. They’re dodging taxes and reaping taxpayer dollars for profit.

This issue is especially stark when it comes to the energy sector. Many tax benefits are supposed to encourage projects that will fight climate change. But instead, many of these benefits are going to climate scams that do more harm than good. 

In November, we have the opportunity to change this. Food & Water Action is working to elect allies who will help cut taxpayer subsidies to greenwashed schemes. With your help, we’ll elect leaders who will stop support for these four climate scams, invest in real solutions, and end our reliance on dirty energy once and for all.

1. Carbon Capture and Storage: Big Oil’s Big Bet to Keep Drilling

Big Oil and Gas know that fossil-fueled energy is on its way out the door. So the industry is clawing on to profits in any way they can — while slapping a “climate fix” sticker on top. Its biggest scam yet: carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture technologies are supposed to pull carbon dioxide from operations like power plants, and even right out of the sky, to prevent more global warming. But we know carbon capture is expensive, it doesn’t work, and it will give the fossil fuel industry cover to continue drilling and polluting.

Nevertheless, we are paying for corporations’ failed experiments. The federal government has already poured billions into unsuccessful projects. Newer laws, including 2023’s Inflation Reduction Act, have designated additional billions toward new carbon capture projects. 

That money will have little to show for it by way of climate benefits. Instead, it’ll lead to more drilling and more emissions.

2. Factory Farm Gas Entrenches Polluting Factory Farms

Recently, the factory farm industry has turned to what it calls a “renewable” energy source: so-called “biogas.” This gas is derived from the waste of factory farms and turned into fuel to heat homes and power vehicles.

The industry is heavily greenwashing it as a “sustainable” solution to the colossal amounts of toxic manure that factory farms produce. However, it wouldn’t have this massive waste problem if not for the industry’s cost-cutting manure “management” practices. 

What’s more, this factory farm gas is mostly methane — just like fracked gas. It will run in the same leaky, dangerous pipeline system and have similar climate impacts — on top of the climate impacts of the factory farm model itself. Big Oil and gas companies like Chevron and BP are even getting in on the game.

And taxpayers are paying handsomely for these schemes. At a federal level, digester companies are getting tax credits and subsidies through laws like the Farm Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act. Meanwhile, state programs, like that in California, are also heaping taxpayer-funded incentives on factory farm gas projects. 

3. Hydrogen Hubs Promise Huge Build-Outs of Dirty Infrastructure

Hydrogen boosters are hyping up this “fuel of the future” while hiding a lot of downsides. It’s incredibly inefficient, comes with massive risks to public health and safety, and almost all of it comes from fracked gas. Turning hydrogen into energy may be emissions-free, but getting the hydrogen in the first place is often not.

But if corporations get their way, hydrogen infrastructure, including pipelines, power plants, refineries, and more, will crisscross our country — and taxpayers will foot the bill. 

Already, the Department of Energy is preparing to disburse $7 billion in taxpayer dollars to develop “hydrogen hubs.” State and local governments are preparing to spend even more to lure developers to set up shop. 

4. Corn Ethanol Encourages Climate-Ruining Industrial Farm Practices

Once upon a time, ethanol made from corn was hailed as a sustainable alternative to gasoline. So for years, the federal government has mandated that our gasoline supply incorporate a certain amount of corn ethanol. It also sends billions of taxpayer dollars a year to industrial corn farming. 

This has driven a glut of corn and explosive growth in the ethanol industry. Now, a full 45% of the country’s corn goes to ethanol. (Another 40% goes to feeding animals in factory farms, which means most of the corn grown today does not feed people.)

However, we’ve known for years that ethanol is not the green fuel the industry claimed it was. Accounting for all the emissions from industrial farming practices, corn ethanol is actually worse for the climate than gasoline. At the same time, those industrial farming practices are ruining our environment and our health.

We Can Fight Climate Scams in the Voting Booth

Corporations’ greenwashing ploys are receiving taxpayer funds because elected officials are writing subsidies into law. We can change this by electing leaders who will reject these ploys and fight for real solutions.

This year, Food & Water Action is proud to endorse several candidates who will do exactly that. For example, in Maryland, we’re endorsing Dr. Clarence Lam in his race for the House. 

As Clarence said at a recent Food & Water Action event:

We have to fight for the highest possible standard. Things like carbon capture really do not help us in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. In fact, it actually spurs the opposite; it incentivizes continued use of fossil fuels.

Clarence already has a track record fighting climate scams as a State Senator. He’s stood with us to clean up the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which props up greenwashed dirty energy like trash incineration and factory farm gas. He’ll take this fight to the federal level and work to end support for boondoggles like carbon capture and storage.

Over the next few months, Food & Water Action is putting our all into supporting candidates like Clarence. We deserve leaders who won’t waste our money or pander to corporate lies; who will fight for us and our livable future.

Join us in the fight against climate scams at the polls! From phone-banking to canvassing, we’re going all in on 2024.