Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Record Oil Profits and Taxpayer Subsidies

Last year, the oil companies made a lot of money. Lots of money. Profits were higher than ever before. They actually made more money than any company anywhere, in the history of the world.  Let that sink in for a moment. They made bigger profits than any company, anywhere on the globe, ever.

And yet, we taxpayers are subsidizing them to the tune of 4 billion dollars a year.  Just handing it over, with a nice pink bow on it.  The obvious question is why?  Maybe decades ago, before they became the most profitable business on Earth, they might have needed government assistance to get the ball rolling.  But now?  Still?

President Obama and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi say it's got to stop.  Orange John Boner, the current Speaker, said it might be time to consider ending the corporate welfare for oil companies.  The ball is in his court.  Here's the letter Nancy Pelosi sent to The Boner:

April 26, 2011 
The Honorable John BoehnerSpeaker of the HouseH-232 US CapitolWashington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:  

House Democrats have long advocated eliminating outdated and costly taxpayer subsidies that provide billions of dollars to highly profitable oil companies.  As you know, the President today called upon Congressional leaders “to take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.” 
As you also know, we have had several votes on this subject in the House, and have been disappointed that these proposals have not been supported by the Republican leadership.  Your comments yesterday acknowledged that oil companies ought to be paying their fair share.  It makes little sense for American consumers -- who are now paying over $4 a gallon for gasoline in most parts of the United States -- to have billions of their taxpayer dollars subsidizing oil companies that are making record profits. 
For these reasons, I am writing to request that you schedule a vote on ending these tax breaks on the House floor upon our return to Washington next week.  I look forward to our working together to achieve this necessary change. 
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
best regards,                                                                
House Democratic Leader

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