Dan Froomkin wrote in huffpo How The Oil Lobby Greases Washington’s Wheels:
Despite astronomical profits during what have been lean years for most everyone else, the oil and gas industry continues to benefit from massive, multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies. Opinion polling shows the American public overwhelmingly wants those subsidies eliminated.That’s at least $4 billion a year to big oil while Congress debates cutting Social Security and Medicare and maybe shutting down the government. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API),
after adding in the cost of some other proposed measures (including reinstating Superfund taxes and repealing two accounting gimmicks that would affect other industries as well), concluded that Obama’s FY 2012 proposed budget could cost the oil and gas industry $90 billion over the next decade.So according to the oil industry’s own pressure group, we’re subsidizing big oil to the tune of an average of $9 billion a year. This while BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell together made $1 trillion in profit (not gross: profit!) in the last decade, for an average of $100 billion a year in profits, “with ExxonMobil clearing $31 billion in profits this past year alone.”
And no, they don’t need tax breaks to get them to drill. Not even former oilman George W. Bush bought that hockum:
“I will tell you with $55 [a barrel] oil we don’t need incentives to oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives.”And that was back in 2005. Oil prices are around $100 a barrel now.
And we haven’t even added in subisidies to big coal; for that see Clean Technica.
Eliminate subsidies to big oil and give a fraction of that to solar and wind, and we’ll see real clean energy take off.