Oil is made from dead dinosaurs, Big Oil is determined to turn the US economy into a dinosaur.
President Barack Obama is pulling no punches as he lays out the case for a more reasonable, rational, balanced energy policy. A couple of weeks ago he skewered anti-clean energy flat-Earthers who are keeping us stuck in the past:
They've been talking down new sources of energy. They dismiss wind power. They dismiss solar power. They make jokes about biofuels. They were against raising fuel standards - I guess they like gas guzzlers, they think that's good for our future. We're trying to move towards the future, they want to be stuck in the past. We've heard this kind of thinking before. Let me tell you something, if some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail...they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society, they would not have believed that the world was round ... We put faith in the future; We are inventors, we are builders, we are makers of things, we are Thomas Edison, we are the Wright brothers, we are Bill Gates, we are Steve Jobs, that's who we are! [applause] That's who we need to be right now!
Who could argue with the need to invest in a balanced energy strategy, no longer putting all our eggs in Big Oil's basket?
Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits –- profits that go up every time folks pull up into a gas station. But on top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year -- billions a year in taxpayer subsidies -– a subsidy that they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.
Think about that. It’s like hitting the American people twice. You’re already paying a premium at the pump right now. And on top of that, Congress, up until this point, has thought it was a good idea to send billions of dollars more in tax dollars to the oil industry.
It’s not as if these companies can’t stand on their own. Last year, the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profits. Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour. And when the price of oil goes up, prices at the pump go up, and so do these companies’ profits. In fact, one analysis shows that every time gas goes up by a penny, these companies usually pocket another $200 million in quarterly profits. Meanwhile, these companies pay a lower tax rate than most other companies on their investments, partly because we’re giving them billions in tax giveaways every year.
... the fact is, we’re producing more oil right now than we have in eight years, and we’re importing less of it as well. For two years in a row, America has bought less oil from other countries than we produce here at home -– for the first time in over a decade.
So American oil is booming. The oil industry is doing just fine. With record profits and rising production, I’m not worried about the big oil companies. With high oil prices around the world, they’ve got more than enough incentive to produce even more oil. That’s why I think it’s time they got by without more help from taxpayers who are already having a tough enough time paying the bills and filling up their gas tank. And I think it’s curious that some folks in Congress, who are the first to belittle investments in new sources of energy, are the ones that are fighting the hardest to maintain these giveaways for the oil companies.
Yes, it's very curious that the folks who most want to keep giving Big Oil $4 billion a year of taxpayer money are the same ones who fight tooth and nail against any initiative to reduce our dependence on oil. Can it be they're in the pocket of Big Oil?
Instead of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, we should be using that money to double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising -- investments in wind power and solar power and biofuels; investments in fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and energy-efficient homes and buildings. That’s the future. That’s the only way we're going to break this cycle of high gas prices that happen year after year after year. ...
And keep in mind, we can’t just drill our way out of this problem. As I said, oil production here in the United States is doing very well, and it's been doing well even as gas prices are going up. Well, the reason is because we use more than 20 percent of the world’s oil but we only have 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves. And that means we could drill every drop of American oil tomorrow but we’d still have to buy oil from other countries to make up the difference. We’d still have to depend on other countries to meet our energy needs. ...
That’s not the future that I want for America. I don’t want folks like these back here and the folks in front of me to have to pay more at the pump every time that there’s some unrest in the Middle East and oil speculators get nervous about whether there’s going to be enough supply. I don’t want our kids to be held hostage to events on the other side of the world.
I want us to control our own destiny. I want us to forge our own future. And that’s why, as long as I’m President, America is going to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy, which means we will continue developing our oil and gas resources in a robust and responsible way. But it also means that we’re going to keep developing more advanced homegrown biofuels, the kinds that are already powering truck fleets across America.
We’re going to keep investing in clean energy like the wind power and solar power that’s already lighting thousands of homes and creating thousands of jobs. We’re going to keep manufacturing more cars and trucks to get more miles to the gallon so that you can fill up once every two weeks instead of every week. We’re going to keep building more homes and businesses that waste less energy so that you’re in charge of your own energy bills.
We’re going to do all of this by harnessing our most inexhaustible resource: American ingenuity and American imagination. That’s what we need to keep going. That’s what’s at stake right now. That’s the choice that we face. And that’s the choice that’s facing Congress today. They can either vote to spend billions of dollars more in oil subsidies that keep us trapped in the past, or they can vote to end these taxpayer subsidies that aren’t needed to boost oil production so that we can invest in the future. It’s that simple.
A majority (51) of Senators voted to end the oil subsidy, but majority no longer rules in the Senate, so Big Oil gets to keep their nose in the taxpayer trough a bit longer. Two Republicans, Olympia Snow and Susan Collins, voted to end the subsidies. A handful of Democrats, most from Big Energy states, joined the rest of the Republicans (including Alabama's two Senators) to form a minority large enough to keep shoveling taxpayer money to companies like Exxon, which is making record profits --- $4.7 million an hour!
It's a crazy world. Pay at the pump and subsidize the gas companies too, while the future goes begging.