Government Subsidies to the Oil Companies

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All Americans should be aware of what’s happening in Washington in this critically important area that affects every one of us. Earlier this week, 48 Senators, including three Democrats and all but two Senate Republicans voted to defeat a bill that would have ended tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies.

What could cause such outrageous behavior? How about the $39.5 million that the oil and gas companies spent lobbying Congress in the first quarter of this year alone? Or might it be the fact that the industry donated nearly $18 million directly to the political campaigns of Senators who voted against ending these subsidies — five times more than to Senators who supported ending them?

Yet the measure to end these handouts to the oil industry came fairly close to passing (we needed 60 votes, and got 52). The message: if you care about things like this (and I have to think that most readers here do indeed), I urge you to exercise your rights as a citizen and let your elected leaders know where you stand on this.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

  • http://www.southeastsolar.net usdoc1ga

    On one hand the oil companies have large sums of money to spend behind lobbyists. On the other hand they keep the prices artificially high to reap unprecedented profits.The true price of gas in other parts of the world is around $6.00 to $7.50 per gallon. If the oil prices stay high enough in the USA, people will learn to use smaller vehicles and will learn to use mass transit.

    It is not just oil companies getting the money, one can include farmers (large corporations who farm on a commercial scale) get huge tax benefits NOT to grow wheat etc. The list goes on and on.

    This can also be applied to various countries like Pakistan, Israel etc who receive BILLIONS each year in aid. All these amounts can be stopped and pay off the national debt.