I don’t know about you, but the price at the gas pump is certainly hurting my pocketbook. I am sick and tired of paying over $50 each time I have to fill up. Quite frankly, I could use a break. In fact, I wouldn’t mind getting one of those tax breaks that the oil and gas companies get every year.
Our current tax law provides the oil and gas industry with more than $4 billion (yes billion) per year in subsidies. Why are they getting such high subsidies when oil prices are high and the industry is projected to report huge profits this quarter?
House Speaker John Boehner said on Monday that Congress should consider looking at the oil subsidies. President Obama, in a letter to Congressional leaders, wrote he was “heartened” to hear such openness. But shortly afterward, Boehner seemed to backtrack his statements.
Both political parties have talked about the need to make difficult cuts in the federal budget. We look at cutting non-defense discretionary spending, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, military spending. Why would we not look at subsidies to oil companies? What makes them exempt from cuts?
But I also wonder if instead of cutting the subsidies, we should take those dollars and invest them in clean energy to reduce our dependence on our planet’s dwindling stores of oil. We need to look at protecting our environment for future generations as well as finding a way to reduce our dependence.
And, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind lower gas prices.