Big Oil subsidies are, simply put, indefensible
Conservatives who are dead set against making any investments in new technologies that can help propel our country and its economy forward are famous for using the argument that this is “picking winners and losers”. The irony is that, in order to even be considered for federal government subsidies, new technologies — like renewable energy projects, for example — must have already proven themselves as winners that are simply in need of a kickstart to make them affordable and profitable.
With negotiations over the upcoming sequester — automatic, across the board budget cuts — ready to dominate the headlines, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Obama administration are suggesting that it’s time to end one the most glaring examples “picking winners” that we have in this country today: $4 billion in subsidies to Big Oil companies.
The White House took jabs at oil-and-gas subsidies Wednesday, calling for an end to the incentives as part of a deal to avoid automatic spending cuts from sequestration.
“The idea that you need to subsidize an industry that has enjoyed record profits — that taxpayers have to subsidize it — just doesn’t make sense in a time when we have to make choices about how best to use our resources,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday.
Unless Congress acts to stop sequestration, federal spending will be slashed by about $110 billion on March 1, with half the total coming from the Pentagon.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made similar comments about the subsidies. The remarks indicate Democrats plan to take another stab at axing the subsidies, this time as part of an effort to dodge the automatic spending cuts, after legislative efforts failed last Congress.
It is truly astonishing that an industry that is reported to have made $80 billion in profit last year still manages to squeeze the American tax payers for $4 billion a year. What, $76 billion split among a handful of companies isn’t enough???
There simply isn’t an example you can give of a more unnecessary subsidy or a more egregious example of “picking winners” than these subsidies. Republicans were able to shoot down President Obama’s effort to end them last year. Hopefully this year, with the political winds at his back, he’ll be more successful.