We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices.
When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010. Of this, supports on the production side totaled some $100 billion. Supports for consumption exceeded $400 billion, with $193 billion for oil, $91 billion for natural gas, $3 billion for coal, and $122 billion spent subsidizing the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity. All together, governments are shelling out nearly $1.4 billion per day to further destabilize the earth’s climate.
Kuwait’s fossil fuel subsidies were highest on a per capita basis, with $2,800 spent per person. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar followed, each spending close to $2,500 per person. More