The Republicans must finally be feeling some serious pressure over their ceaseless support of Big Oil in the wake of soaring gas prices. Even Speaker of the House John Boehner is stating it may be time to consider cutting the purse strings when it comes to subsidies and tax breaks.
House Speaker John Boehner says he’s open to calls from the White House to curb some of the $4 billion in oil and gas subsidies and tax incentives, as Washington continues to feel the heat over high gas prices.
Oil and gas producers are “gonna pay their fair share in taxes and they should,” Boehner told ABC News.
“I don’t think the big oil companies need to have the oil depletion allowances. But for small, independent oil and gas producers — if they didn’t have this — there’d be even less exploration in America than there is today.”
But in the wake of needling from Democrats, who congratulated Boehner on finally getting out of the energy industry’s pockets, the Speaker had his spekesperson retract his statement for him.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel clarified the Speaker’s comments Monday, saying he was avoiding a political trap during the interview.
“The Speaker made clear in the interview that raising taxes was a non-starter, and he’s told the president that. He simply wasn’t going to take the bait and fall into the trap of defending ‘Big Oil’ companies,” he said. “Boehner believes, as he stated in the interview, that expanding American energy production will help lower gas prices and create more American jobs. We’ll look at any reasonable policy that lowers gas prices. Unfortunately, what the president has suggested so far would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump.”
So, yes, Boehner wants oil companies to pay their fair share, as long as they don’t have to actually pay anything. Thanks for the clarification, Steel.