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.