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Obama Calls for End of Big Oil Subsidies

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Energy, GOP Lies, Obama, Video )

- 2218 days ago -
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TomCat S (129)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 1:51 pm
This morning Barack Obama called attention to the huge subsidies US taxpayers pay to Big Oil, despite record profits and rising supplies. In addition he challenged several Republican lies regarding the oil industry and his own policies toward it.

Sheryl G (363)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 2:29 pm
Oh how they don't mind taking the Corporate Welfare, but please don't give grannie any Medicare and lets begrudge and take the Food Stamps away from the poor families and their children.

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 3:18 pm
Just because Obama cannot find an oil company that needs money is no reason to stop the subsidy program. We need to keep on an emergency basis in case a poor oil company does show up.

Kit B (276)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 3:37 pm

It wasn't a bad speech, not his best but he did address a real farce - oil subsidies. Why do we ALLOW this?

I'll betcha 10,000 Congress will ignore this ardent request to finally end the subsidies/welfare for the wealthy. Meanwhile, the conversation on cuts for Medicare and Social Security will continue on, after all who bites the hand that feeds them...

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 5:19 pm
Noted. Thanks.

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 6:33 pm
Senate Fails to Cut Favors to Big Oil, Once Again
Earlier today President Obama challenged Congress to either stand with Big Oil, or stand with the American people. A vote on legislation introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) that would have eliminated over $2.4 billion in annual tax deductions to the top 5 oil companies was subsequently defeated a few hours later.

Once again Congress has voted with the money over the many.

The dirty details:

•The 47 Senators that voted against repealing subsidies for the five biggest oil companies have taken four times more money in campaign contributions from oil since 1999 than the 51 senators who voted for the repeal. (The vote was actually supported by a majority of the Senate 51-47 but required 60 to pass due to a filibuster.)
•In the current Congress they took nearly twice as much from oil companies than the 51 who voted to repeal Big Oil’s subsidies.
•On average, a Senator that voted against repealing Big Oil’s subsidies has taken 330% more from oil companies since 1999 and 220% more in the current congress.
Cutting $2.4 billion in subsidies annually to the biggest companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – might seem like a solid initial step. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The oil and gas industry receives at least $10 billion annually in special favors.

“Independent” oil and gas companies not included in the Menendez bill aren’t exactly “mom & pop shops”. There ain’t no Christmas cookies coming your way for supporting the corner oil and gas industry. These are major outfits including Koch Industries, Occidental, Marathon, Murphy Oil and many more. The top five independent companies – none of which were targeted by today’s vote – are collectively worth $178 billion. Of the top 86 publicly listed independent oil industries, 56 had market capitalizations of over $1 billion in 2011. In 66 of these 86 companies the CEO’s salary was over $4.8 million in 2009. While efforts to start shaving off special benefits to individual actors might have some impact, we need to root this cancer out at the core.

We need to do much more than make symbolic gestures. It’s time for a real effort to cut the apron strings on an industry that’s doing just fine on it’s own. Consider these facts:

1. Big Oil makes money.
Subsidies make sense when they foster the growth of a new industry. They are intended to be a temporary crutch to enable companies to find their footing until they can be competitive on their own. With oil prices exceeding $100 per barrel, U.S. oil production is hugely profitable. The five biggest oil companies made $137 billion in 2011 alone. Most independently-owned companies that produce oil and gas in the U.S. have market capitalizations in the hundreds of millions and multi-billion dollar range. How is this a sector that continues to need taypayer support?

2. Subsidies don’t lower gas prices.
Our vulnerability to high gas prices has been a fact since the 1970s, and no amount of additional drilling or subsidies is going to change that. The global oil market, not the domestic industry, determines gasoline prices. The only way to end our vulnerability to high gas prices is to end our dependence on all oil, not just foreign oil. According to the Treasury Department, removing these domestic subsidies will reduce U.S. oil production less than one half of one percent, and will increase exploration and production costs less than two percent. Considering the price that the domestic industry receives for crude has more than doubled over the past several years, the industry should be able to afford that – without laying anyone off or jacking up the price at the pump.

So why are we debating half measures? It’s time to cut the ties between Big Oil and our decision makers, and focus on the transition to clean energy.


Susanne R (234)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 8:26 pm
I'm not surprised that "a majority of the Senate voted for the measure, but it failed 51-47 because Republicans filibustered." That old expression serves them well: "Never bite the hand that feeds."

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 8:55 pm
When did it suddenly become Necessary to get 60 votes instead of a simple Majority for Anything to pass in the Senate?

William K (308)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 8:56 pm
These subsidies should be ended. There is no excuse for these companies who are getting filthy rich off of us due to nothing more than speculation and manipulated oil prices to have to further bilk the people by taking our tax dollars too.

No surprise that it did not pass in Congress.

Where are all of the anti-tax, small government tea-baggers? Should they not be outraged about this too? This would seem to be precisely the sort of thing that they would support!

pam w (139)
Thursday March 29, 2012, 9:51 pm
I believe the oil business OWNS us!

ewoud k (68)
Friday March 30, 2012, 12:42 am
Guess they already got enough money.

Robert O (12)
Friday March 30, 2012, 1:37 am
The sooner the subsidies end the better. What could big oil possibly need them for except to create more environmental havoc via their negligence, greed and stupidity all while raking in record profits. Big oil wants to rule the world. Thanks Tom.

Xil L (40)
Friday March 30, 2012, 2:36 am
End subsidies and sanction ecocide, might help them relate to american mayority. Big Up Obama!

Penelope P (222)
Friday March 30, 2012, 4:28 am
With people like Bush in politics(TEXAS OIL) and all their conneextions this is rather a brave thing to do

Kamila A (141)
Friday March 30, 2012, 6:44 am
Obama is our man! He is brave to declare this, but we have his back.....right!!!!??!!!

JL A (281)
Friday March 30, 2012, 8:10 am
At least lip service...some things repeated consistently over many years eventually occur due to the absence of justification to do otherwise...hopefully this one will come sooner rather than later.........

Anne S (25)
Friday March 30, 2012, 8:39 am
noted. ty

Roger Skinner (14)
Friday March 30, 2012, 8:50 am
There was an interesting piece about this on the Maddow show last night (Chris Hayes substituting). The 51 Senators who voted to end the subsidies received a bit over $5 million in campaign contributions from the oil industry, while the 47 Senators who voted keep the subsidies had received about 4 times as much, a bit over $23 million in contributions. In any other situation, we would call this taking a bribe.

Lynn Squance (235)
Friday March 30, 2012, 11:01 am
Mr Obama's direction on energy is the correct course of action for now, but it is far from perfect. I would like to see more investment in clean energy, but that is a steeper hill than can be climbed in the short haul.

That the bill was defeated in the Senate with the help of the goose-stepping DINOs is no surprise. After the BP spill in the Gulf, I wonder how Mary Landreau would fare in an election? These DINOs have to go. Fortunately Benedict Nelson is going out, but then his replacement is in question.

David C (133)
Friday March 30, 2012, 11:58 am
there is so much irony in this issue....I've heard US demand is down (so prices should follow?), but refineries are being under-used/closed (causing excuse for rising prices), demand world-wide rises and of course weeks ago prices went up when repuglicons threatened Iran, now that seems quieter and prices not going down....

all I know is that (a) BIG POLLUTION MAKES TOO MUCH MONEY, (b) is destroying the environment and not paying for it, (c) we need to get OFF OIL NOW and (d) I am sick of my taxes going to help these destroyers make more profits and wars.......

we're fighting an uphill battle.....

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday March 30, 2012, 1:29 pm
Ya gotta see right here, that PUBLIC PRESSURE WORKS! The Occupy Movement has CHANGED PUBLIC DISCOURSE. The President is FEELING it.
Neither the Occupy Movement, nor the President, are "perfect" or all we would want them to be. {Ideally.}
However, this shows that we the Public, HAVE made a difference, however small, symbolic or -- let's face it -- so far inadequate.
We mustn't sacrifice the "Possible" for the "Perfect".
What do you think but President Obama's SECOND term might be better, and more responsive to Public Opinion, than his First Term???

I think it is quite certain that the President would not have taken the stand he did, without Public Input and Public Pressure. So, let's KEEP PRESSURING!
I support the Occupy Movement and try to keep the would-be-troublemakers out of it. I demonstrate. I write the President WEEKLY -- and, I WEEKLY send a message to President Obama's website, I also write letters to the Editor of various newspapers and magazines. These are a few of the ways we ALL can put the pressure on! There are also Petitions, e-mails, phone calls, lobbying your legislators -- etc. I am sure Care2 members are each doing several or even all of these things -- and more!
THAT is Keeping The Pressure On.
Keep on doing it, and ever-so-slowly, much-too-slowly-for-our-impatience; but we WILL begin to see some results. As we have with this news right here!

{Oh, and by the way, to support the Prez more, let's ELECT DEMOCRATS as Legislators, Governors, and State Legislators in upcoming elections! VOTE! And don't sacrifice the "Possible" for the non-attainable "Perfect".....}

Mary T (178)
Friday March 30, 2012, 5:01 pm
Not surprise that it was voted down.

Nancy L (141)
Friday March 30, 2012, 5:34 pm
If you stop "subsidies" for oil companies, you have to stop them for all companies. You do realize that what he is talking about is tax credits that ALL companies get right? Just like the tax credit you get for your mortgage interest. You do realize that if they are not allowed those tax credits the cost will be passed on to consumers right?

Edith B (146)
Friday March 30, 2012, 9:51 pm
It is about time he said this. His first two years he could have done a lot, but he chose to compromise. He should have known there was no compromising with the Republicans. I will vote for him, but reluctantly. He has not kept his promises.

Carol H (229)
Saturday March 31, 2012, 5:11 am
thank you Tom, noted

Nancy L (141)
Saturday March 31, 2012, 6:39 am
Only a fool would vote for him.

Terrie Williams (798)
Sunday April 1, 2012, 8:54 am
Thanks, Tom. What everyone said, Kudos.....except a few.

Kamila A (141)
Sunday April 1, 2012, 4:18 pm
only a fool would not vote for him
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