The Washington Post

Fact Check: Romney’s green math

"In one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives."

The math does not add up for this statement that Gov. Romney directed at President Obama. 

The president's 2013 budget called for elimination of tax breaks for oil subsidies, which the White House estimated at $4 billion per year. Dividing $90 billion -- the federal money that Romney claims went toward clean energy -- by $4 billion in breaks for the oil industry amounts to 22.5 years, not 50 years. 

It's also worth noting that the $90 billion was not "breaks," but a combination of loans, loan guarantees and grants through the stimulus program, and they were spread out over several years rather than one, as Romney suggested.

Furthermore, not all of the money went to the "green energy world." About $23 billion went toward "clean coal," energy-efficiency upgrades, updating the electricity grid and environmental clean--up, largely for old nuclear weapons sites.  

Glenn Kessler has reported on domestic and foreign policy for more than three decades. He would like your help in keeping an eye on public figures. Send him statements to fact check by emailing him, tweeting at him, or sending him a message on Facebook.

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