Get ready for some fireworks this morning in the Senate. The latest spin coming from the oil industry is that Democrats and the more than 75% of Americans that support ending subsidies to Big Oil are somehow “un-American”.
After yesterday’s Annual Meeting of Conoco Phillips the company put out a press release highlighting “concerns over un-American tax proposals”. Senate Democrats led by Robert Menendez of New Jersey immediately hit back and let it be known that they will expect Conoco Phillips’ CEO James Mulva to account for that statement this morning under oath.
Conoco Phillips has spent more than $2 million in campaign finance over the last decade – and more than 80% of that support has gone to Republicans. The oil company has also spent nearly $50 million in lobbying over the last decade.
Will Mulva apologize? Will the Senate buckle under McCarthy-esque tactics? Stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some talking points you might find useful:
1) This isn’t about American jobs or gas prices or energy policy, it’s about money – plain and simple. Big Oil gives campaign cash to politicians. In return, those politicians give our tax dollars to Big Oil in the form of subsidies and also protect Big Oil from proper oversightwhile opposing measures to help us transition to a clean energy economy. It’s a corrupt cycle of money in politics, and it needs to end.
2) The vast majority of Americans support ending subsidies to the oil and gas industries. The reason it has not happened to date is that Members of Congress are too scared to bite the hands that feed them. For more info go to www.dirtyenergymoney.com
3) The oil industry doesn’t need our money. In just the last 3 months, the Big 5 oil companies reported more than $30 billion in profit. In the last decade, they’ve made almost a trillion dollars in net profits. What have they done with that money? Most of it goes to stock buybacks and dividends that enrich their CEOs. Very little goes to expand domestic production and even less to alternative energy.
4) Ending subsidies to Big Oil won’t lower domestic production, raise gas prices, or cost jobs. These are just scare tactics by a greedy industry. Treasury says subsidy removal will increase costs by less than 2 percent, if that. Considering the price that the oil industry receives for crude has more than doubled over the past several years, they should easily be able to afford that – without laying anyone off or jacking up the price at the pump.
5) We can’t drill our way to energy independence. The way to end our nation’s crippling addiction to oil is not to drill for more oil or give more taxpayer money to the oil industry – as a country we need to consume less oil. We have the technology, we know how to do this. All we need is the political will.