As he discussed in the State of the Union address, President Obama intends to cut subsidies of oil and gas companies already making money hand over fist. In the new budget, set for release sometime this month, Obama calls for a $36.5 billion dollar reduction in subsidies and tax breaks for oil and gas companies, alongside substantial increases in funding for solar, wind, and geothermal energy development.
Sounds great, but can he actually pull it off? This will be Obama's third attempt at stopping the subsidies, and his previous failures have all come at the hands of a massive oil and gas lobby as well as bipartisan opposition in Congress. The pro-fossil fuel camp seem to think that they need funding in order to "create jobs" for Americans. But Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hit the nail on the head, pointing to the "record profits in the oil and gas world over the last several years."
In theory most people can agree that tax breaks and subsidies are not necessary for companies that are already earning billions of dollars each year. Yet for some reason, when this is brought into the national discussion and a decision needs to be made, politicians listen to special interests and not the will of the people.
We can only hope this time is finally different.
(via Huff Post)
Photo: Three active oil wells in the Elk Hills Oil Field near Buttonwillow, California. (Wikimedia Commons)