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Ending Oil Subsidies May Boost Clean Energy, Sperling Says

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April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Ending billions of dollars in U.S. tax breaks for the oil and gas industry would provide money for investments to encourage clean-energy technologies, said Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.

While the Obama administration has been forced to reduce spending, current fiscal constraints shouldn’t mean that “the idea of increased investments in any area should be off the table,” Sperling said today at a conference in Washington.

President Barack Obama urged congressional leaders today to act quickly on proposals to eliminate tax breaks for the oil and gas industry and use the savings to fund clean-energy programs. The subsidies are estimated at $4 billion a year.

“In this type of fiscal moment, you have to ask yourself whether that $4 billion” is worthwhile compared with using it to reduce the deficit and “in the areas that could lead us to a brighter and cleaner and more secure energy future,” Sperling said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Chipman in Washington at kchipman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

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