Well the public perception is that it is all change at Congress. With the Democrats in power, one of their promises is to get rid of nasty subsidies to the oil industry. Well apparently not.
Great article by Laura MacCleery, who is the director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, on TomPaine.
According to MacCleery: “When the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate $14 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry on January 18, it left at least one item off its target list: a billion-dollar handout to a research consortium that includes publicly traded companies that reaped $100 billion in profits in 2005”.
“Without congressional action, the money will soon begin flowing to the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, (RPSEA) a 501(c)(3) formed in 2002 by the Gas Technology Institute, a natural gas research organization that was facing the loss of a federally-mandated source of income that once topped $200 million annually”. RPSEA has more than 90 members, including energy giants like Halliburton, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.
The oil and gas subsidy was inserted into the Energy Policy Act of 2005 after a House-Senate conference committee had completed its deliberations on the bill. On January 17, Public Citizen called on Congress to repeal the part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that set up the research program. So far, Congress has failed to do so.
You can read the whole story of the RPSEA rip-off here.
As you know if you read our (roughly) weekly dispatches (sign-up box on the left), there are actually a lot of subsidies that were untouched by the House bill last week. That legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by the Prez, would eliminate $14 billion in oil subsidies over 10 years. At best thats 22% of current oil subsidies. Here’s why:
During that time, Big Oil will receive between 63.2 and 390 billion dollars in subsidies from the US government. Details here:
And that doesn’t even count international support, such as this:
Nor of course does it count the new RPSEA stuff that Public Citizen is reporting.
So, good on the House for taking a first step. There’s a lot more work to be done…
The oil industry is the last that would need subsidies. I resent their subsidies when so many other programs in our country that would help our people & our children’s education & health insurance suffer cuts.
Bush has NO sense of priority. He should be running an Our Gang Comedy Clubhouse instead of a country!!! And Congress is not doing such a great job either.
This is one Democrat on the verge of becoming an Independent, & I’ll bet there are many more!
Why are you against people or companies making big profits? Say for example, if you worked your butt off for $500,000 a year, are you going to give it out because you feel ashamed, because your neighbor only made $100,000 a year.? How about this; the oil companies ought to just close their doors and stop producing oil so we can start living like Little House on the Prairie again.
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