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Subsidies Affecting Wetlands



A partial list of subsidies which were found to have affected wetlands:

  • Agriculture
    • price and income supports for a dozen surplus commodities
    • below-market rate loans (farm ownership and operation)
    • technical assistance at no cost
    • crop insurance at less than actuarially sound premiums
    • irrigation water at 1/10 the cost
    • flood control and drainage projects at 1/4 the cost (and prior to the mid-1980s, at much less than 1/4)
    • protection from low-cost imports (e.g., sugar quotas which benefit growers of sugarcane, sugar beets, and corn for artificial sweeteners)
    • less than full mitigation for environmental damage caused by agricultural activities

  • Urban Development
    • flood control and drainage projects at 1/4 the cost (and prior to the mid-1980s, at much less than 1/4)
    • flood insurance at less than actuarially sound premiums
    • repeated disaster relief at no cost at all and with weak enforcement of requirements to take steps to self-indemnify in the future
    • subsidized mortgage rates
    • tax deductibility of mortgage interest and property tax
    • rural electrification subsidies
    • less than full mitigation for environmental damage caused by urban projects

  • Oil and Gas, Mining, Grazing, Timbering
    • below-cost timber sales providing wood products to consumers at less than full cost
    • income tax subsidies for oil and gas production
    • royalty-free mining on public lands
    • technical assistance at no cost
    • less than full mitigation for environmental damage (e.g., acid mine drainage, siltation in waterways due to runoff from logging roads, degraded prairies and western riparian areas due to over-grazing)

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