Oil Guzzlers, Early Voting

5/13/2011 – The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle has gained a new distinction: Biggest gas guzzling metro area in the nation, according to Forbes. The Triad and Charlotte metro areas are also in the top 10. As Big Oil profits soar and gas prices approach $4 at the pump, more people and politicians are wondering how the industry can justify receiving a $4.4 billion annual tax subsidy from the rest of us. The industry says the money is needed to help domestic exploration and energy independence, but business experts say the industry would explore as much without the subsidy because of other favorable business conditions in the U.S. The subsidy is better understood as a return on investing in political protection: To protect its loopholes and other special favors, the oil and gas industry spent $30 million on campaign contributions and $145 million on lobbying federal policymakers in 2010. To put that in simpler math, imagine if you could invest $175 and get back $4,400 in one year! The investment also diverts Congress from adopting sensible regulations to prevent the next BP explosion and helps elect more legislators willing to be puppets. The more Big Oil and Big Bizness can control elections, the better off they are, which is one reason their puppets also champion measures to make voting more difficult. The Big Biz/Art Pope puppets in the NC House took a swipe at working-class voters yesterday by deciding to cut a week off the Early Voting period. NC Policy Watch has a short summary and video clip of the debate.


One Response to “Oil Guzzlers, Early Voting”

  1. Frank Burns says:

    What oil and gas subsidies? I’ve heard this same refrain since the 70’s. I guess it will always be in fashion to criticize Big Oil. The truth is that there are no oil subsidies.


    From this article, “I’ll say it again; contrary to popular opinion and the President’s spin, oil and gas gets no taxpayer funded subsidies. The tax code does allow them certain tax credits and deductions to encourage continued investment in an industry that is heavily front-end loaded with capital expense. These are the same kind of incentives available to Coca-Cola, General Electric, Ford, and Micro-Soft and other companies doing business in the U.S. Or, for that matter, like the deduction for mortgage interest payments enjoyed by homeowners. But, importantly these are tax credits, and markedly different from direct taxpayer cash subsidies like the 45 cent per gallon payment blenders get to put ethanol in fuel mixes.