Why Big Oil subsidies must go
Big Oil is exporting American oil to foreign countries. Demand is so high globally that our oil is going to China, Germany or any place with huge energy needs like ours, driving up prices here at home.
Who is to blame for high gas prices? Big oil companies and the members of Congress who support them. Consider this:
- The five biggest oil companies have had a record $137 billion in profits last year.
- These companies receive $4 billion in federal subsidies in the form of various tax credits.
- History shows that when gas prices are higher, oil company profits are higher. (See our chart at olenm.org/highgasprices.)
Those of you in Las Cruces may have noticed the billboards and newspaper ads that OLÉ has put up around Las Cruces, calling on Representative Steve Pearce to stop voting for oil company subsidies. We’re an organization of working New Mexicans who are tired of feeling the squeeze from a crappy economy, high gas prices and the bogus arguments some politicians are making to protect Big Oil’s sweetheart deal.
Big Oil says gas prices are market driven, so if we drill more wells to increase production, gas prices will drop.
It makes a lot of sense until you learn one of Big Oil’s secrets: Big Oil is exporting American oil to foreign countries. Demand is so high globally that our oil is going to China, Germany or any place with huge energy needs like ours, driving up prices here at home.
So we should still just drill more wells, right? Wrong. We have more oil coming out of the ground here than we have had in decades. And Big Oil has thousands of drilling permits for public lands that they have not even used yet. Big Oil says “Drill More!” because they don’t want us talking about how we’re paying them twice — once at the pump and once on tax day, when taxpayers have to make up for the $4 billion in subsidies we are giving Big Oil.
There’s a simple solution to high gas prices. First, ban the export of OUR oil, drilled on OUR public lands, to foreign countries. Otherwise, how can we ever become energy independent? Second, end the $4 billion in subsidies to Big Oil. That means you, Representative Pearce. Let’s spend that money on job creation, unemployment benefits, renewable energy development – anything but giving handouts to the wealthiest, most profitable corporations on planet earth. Especially when they’re charging us $4/gallon for gas!
Diana Smith is an early educator in Deming.
13 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.
Leave a response
You must be logged in to post a comment.