Wendy B. Davis


This article argues that the depletion deduction provision is a misguided incentive that has been falsely analogized and justified, and it should be abolished in order to provide funds to protect and preserve the environment. The additional revenue generated should be used to encourage the development of renewable resources and to remediate the harm caused by the extraction and use of fossil fuels. Specifically, the depletion deduction for reduction in the supply of nonrenewable resources such as coal and oil should be eliminated to (1) ensure certain and equal treatment under the tax laws; (2) encourage development of renewable energy resources thereby abating further environmental harm caused by mining and extraction of fossil fuels; and (3) increase tax revenue to fund reparations for damages caused by coal mining and oil extraction.