There is an old superstition that “bad news comes in threes,” and although Americans have had more than their share of bad news, Republicans have had a rash of good news over the past week. They successfully enacted sequestration cuts to wild celebration and self-congratulations, killed between 700,000 and a million jobs, and learned America’s infrastructure is 25th in the world behind Oman and Barbados. If all that good news wasn’t enough to please Republicans, a new report reveals that their favorite contributor, the oil industry, surpassed Saudi Arabia’s petroleum output in November 2012 to become the number one oil producer in the world.
The good news does not stop there, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the US will be the world’s largest petroleum producer within the next few years that will guarantee the oil industry continues posting record profits for years to come. Naturally, increased oil production and record profits mean big oil will continue paying next to nothing in taxes, and combined with billions in oil subsidies courtesy of Republicans in Congress, they will be able to increase their political contributions to anti-environmental causes, invest in propaganda denying global climate change, and fund GOP candidates lying about the marvelous benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Republicans are desperate for Presidential approval of TransCanada’s oil transport system across America to further increase oil company profits as the refined tar sand is already slated for export to Europe and South America. Approval of the pipeline will be extraordinarily good news for John Boehner who invested in seven Canadian tar sand companies in 2010 anticipating President Obama’s approval that certainly would increase his stock portfolio, and it prompted him to viciously lie about the pipeline’s permanent jobs (20), and its contribution to America’s oil independence. Besides John Boehner, the only beneficiaries of the pipeline is TransCanada and its investors, oil refineries in Texas, and European and South American nations importing Canada’s oil.
The increased oil production is not all good news for Americans though, because the glut of oil is keeping gas prices curiously high, and the processes for extracting gas and oil are decimating the environment that Republicans mean to perpetuate with cuts the Environmental Protection Agency and a steady campaign touting the safety and health benefits of chemical-laden hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques. However, there are Americans who believe that fracking-related earthquakes and poisoned water supplies are too high a price to pay for oil industry’s profits, especially when taxpayers give them billions in entitlements and oil giants like ExxonMobil paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2009 according to their filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Republicans claim America is broke and cannot afford to feed hungry children, seniors, or provide school lunches for low-income working families, but they never fail to find enough taxpayer dollars to give the oil industry in subsidies and special benefits (tax breaks) that Democrats and President Obama have sought to end in light of oil companies posting perpetual record profits, and attempts to “reduce the phony deficit.” Doubtless, Republicans will continue fighting to reduce corporate taxes for big oil because zero is a burdensome rate, and billions in oil subsidies will have to be augmented with more tax credits and corporate welfare funded by slashing anti-poverty programs, and Republicans claiming America is broke will reap greater campaign contributions for their due diligence.
Maybe it is good news America is a leading producer and net exporter of oil, but Americans pay a heavy price in lost tax revenue, toxic environment, and curiously high fuel prices for a few oil corporations’ profits Republicans are increasing with subsidies and special breaks. All the while, they claim America is broke and cannot take care of its least fortunate citizens or invest in green and renewable energy sources the rest of the world is taking advantage of reducing their dependence on fossil fuels, but America is different than the rest of the world. Under Republican rule, America opposes investing in green and renewable energy sources, or its crumbling infrastructure, or fighting child poverty, but this country invests heavily in the private oil industry helping them become heavy Republican campaign donors, the largest petroleum producer in the world, and arguably one of the biggest federal welfare recipients.