The New York Times asks, "What would happen if the federal government ended its subsidies to companies that drill for oil and gas?" The American oil and gas industry has argued that such a move would leave the United States more dependent on foreign energy. Many environmental activists counter that ending subsidies could move the United States toward a future free of fossil fuels — helping it curtail its emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The first part of the NYT's answer is correct insofar as it would make foreign oil and gas marginally more competitive. The second part is utter fantasy and wrong in many ways. The question itself is far too narrow for a discussion of energy subsidies. It ignores the far, far greater subsidies for renewable energy, and it also ignore the massive regulatory burden placed on traditional energy sources — which are penalties or, in a different way of looking at it, negative subsidies. Further discussion and graphs follow.