Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Education or oil?


As Americans continue to struggle with outrageous, unstable gas prices, oil companies continue to benefit from them.

BP announced Wednesday a first-quarter profit of $7.1 billion, a 16% increase from last year. ConocoPhilips reported a 44% increase, to $3 billion. Exxon and Chevron are expected to report today $15 billion in first quarter earnings, also an increase of more than 40%.1 In all, the five largest oil companies have reaped nearly $1 trillion in profits in the last 10 years.

But more outrageous than jaw-dropping oil company profits, is the fact that our government actually rewards these companies with even more of our money for maintaining this disastrous system - to the tune of $4 billion a year in tax credits and subsidies. It's time for that to end.

Tell Congress: End oil subsidies.

It is a testament to the influence of polluters, and the power of the money they shower upon Congress, that so many of our leaders have continued to defend these senseless subsidies.

As recently as this March, House Republicans - while simultaneously pleading poverty and fighting for crippling budget cuts elsewhere - voted unanimously against repealing these oil subsidies, at a total cost to us of 45 billion over 10 years.

But in the face of these huge budget cuts, painful gas prices and shocking oil company profits, it is becoming harder and harder for Republicans to defend this policy.

In a surprising move, Speaker John Boehner said Monday that repealing oil subsidies "is certainly something we ought to be looking at" and that oil companies "ought to be paying their fair share."2 While his statement was quickly walked back the next day by an aide who said Boehner was simply trying not to "fall into the trap of defending 'Big Oil' companies"3 it's clear that cracks are beginning to show in the Republicans' brazen defense of senseless oil handouts.

On Wednesday, President Obama sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them to end oil subsidies, and Nancy Pelosi also sent a letter to Speaker Boehner asking him to schedule a House vote next week. Harry Reid announced he will hold a vote in the Senate as soon as possible.

Momentum is building. This is a key moment to keep the pressure on, and force every member of congress to choose: Americans, or the oil companies?

Tell Congress: End oil subsidies.

Between the ruining of our gulf, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events brought on by climate change, and now - once again - astronomical oil company profits and oil prices that literally threaten our economy, we don't need any more reminders that it's time to end our reliance on oil.

Yet we're handing oil companies billions as we slash funding for the investments in clean energy and transit we need to break oil's grip on our lives.

This must end. And if we raise our voices, we can finally end it.

Tell Congress: End oil subsidies.

No comments:

Post a Comment