Republicans Won’t Touch Sacred Cow of $5 Billion a Year in Big Oil Subsidies

Shell Oil CEO: Big Oil Doesn’t Need Subsidies

Treasury Sec. Geithner: Ending Big Oil Subsidies Won’t Raise Gas Prices

Something is missing from all the Republican sound and fury over our budget deficits: a serious discussion of big oil tax giveaways. As the new House majority asks Americans to make big sacrifices as social programs are cut, Republicans refuse to touch the more than $5 billion a year that taxpayers spend subsidizing Big Oil.

Yet Big Oil says it doesn’t need taxpayer subsidies:

“In the face of sustained high oil prices it was not an issue—for large companies—of needing the subsidies to entice us into looking for and producing more oil.”

John Hofmeister, former CEO, Shell Oil, National Journal, 2/11/11

And cutting subsidies won’t raise oil prices:

“It would have no effect on prices.”

– Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner, testimony before House Budget Committee, 2/16/11

Rep. Blumenauer and fellow House Democrats have legislation, the Ending Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act (H.R. 601), that would eliminate the tax loopholes that allow such an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars. So what is the new majority waiting for?

For comparison’s sake, Republicans would rather do ALL of the following instead of simply eliminating $5 billion a year in subsidies for Big Oil:

- Choose Big Oil over Big Bird by eliminating $460 million in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

- Threaten food safety by cutting $241 million from the Food and Drug Administration, cutting $88 million from the Food Safety and Inspection Service and eliminating the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative

- Cripple economic growth and job creation in rural agricultural areas by slashing rural development funding by $482 million

- Put troops in harm’s way by cutting $115 million from the military’s alternative energy programs, keeping our armed forces dependent on vulnerable oil supply chains

- Endanger public health and the environment by cutting $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency

- Cut off medical and scientific innovation by eliminating $1.6 billion from the National Institute of Health, including firing 20,000 National Science Foundation researchers

- Leave our nation’s heroes stranded by cutting $75 million in Veteran’s Assistance programs

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