There are apparently three things we can be sure of in life: death, taxes, and that when the oil industry gets in trouble, environmentalists will get blamed and more money will be thrown at Big Oil.
Yesterday, rather than addressing America’s oil addiction in any real way, Bush used the increase in gas prices as a not surprising opportunity to turn the tables and blame environmental regulations.
The problem, according to Bush, is not greedy oil companies, record profits, or billions in federal subsidies for the oil industry, the problem is those pesky regulations designed to phase out the toxic gas additive MTBE, and the fact that the poor oil industry is paying too much and not getting enough of our tax dollars.
President Bush’s waiver of the regulations is another boon for the oil industry. According to a 2005 study by the American Petroleum Institute, the trade association for the Oil and Gas industry, it would cost anywhere between $1.9 to $3.8 billion annually to comply with the environmental regulations that President Bush suspended.
Memo from Exxon to George: Thanks! Who loves ya?
Meanwhile, at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Republicans have agreed to strike Senate-passed measures that would raise taxes on the major oil companies by nearly $5 billion over five years.
Whats really driving up prices? A recent study of California gas prices suggests that corporate markups and profiteering are to blame.
Tomorrow, we’ll get more information on that, as first quarter profits will be announced by Exxon and others. Look for more records, more lame excuses, and more outrage.
And what of the man who famously told us all we were addicted to oil less than three months ago? It seems he’s not only fallen off the wagon, but the wagon seems to be backing up over him.
But then, what do you expect from the man who’s received more money from the oil & gas industry than any other politician in US history – $2,627,825 in 2004 to George Bush from Big Oil. Its payback time.
Its time to Separate Oil & State.