Un-American Republicans Fight To Keep Big Oil On Corporate Welfare

In the normal course of a conversation, labeling anything un-American generally conjures a vision of communists or a foreign entity acting contrary to the best interests of the United States. In the neo-conservative world, un-American means holding corporations and the wealthiest 1% of Americans accountable to pay their fair share like the rest of the population. For Republicans and big oil, un-American means eliminating tax breaks and subsidies to the industry that posts increasingly obscene record profits every quarter. There is one absolute in Republican politics; they will go to any lengths to defend, protect, and serve the oil industry. What is really un-American is giving Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars to big oil and lying to expedite a dangerous, ill-advised pipeline to enrich the foreign oil industry.  Yesterday and today, two related events highlight the need for Americans to speak out to break the stranglehold big oil has on America and notify Republicans that it is time for them to stop being un-American and to start working for the people; not the oil industry.

Monday, President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 called for repealing billions of dollars in gas and oil industry tax breaks and subsidies that will save approximately $39 billion over the next decade.  The Obama Administration countered oil industry arguments that eliminating big oil’s entitlements will discourage domestic oil production. The President’s budget plan states, “Oil and gas subsidies are costly to the American taxpayer and do little to incentivize production or reduce energy prices,” and that  “Removing these lower-priority subsidies would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate $38.6 billion of additional revenue over the next 10 years, an amount that represents only a small percentage of domestic oil and gas revenues — about one percent over the coming decade.”  The plan signals the President’s bigger message on green energy that  “Repealing fossil fuel tax preferences helps eliminate market distortions, strengthening incentives for investments in clean, renewable, and more energy efficient technologies.”

President Obama’s budget plan will raise about $11.6 billion over ten years by ending big oil’s profitable deduction on domestic manufacturing income and an estimated $13.9 billion by ending oil company’s tax right-offs for certain drilling costs. The oil industry immediately pushed back and claimed “Increasing our taxes would push oil and natural gas investment overseas and diminish job-creation and economic activity here at home.”  The industry’s argument sounds suspiciously identical to Republican rhetoric promoting the Keystone XL pipeline, and it is clear now who John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are parroting in pushing the foreign oil pipeline.

Today, Senate Republicans are threatening a vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline through their standard hostage-taking scenario despite overwhelming evidence that the Canadian project will do nothing for America; even Fox News reported Keystone was a horrible idea. The oil drunk Republicans and some Democrats are willing to bypass State Department evaluation processes, National Interest Determination, and environmental reports to enrich a foreign oil company by attaching Keystone approval to a transportation bill. Last Thursday, the Office of Inspector General recommended reforms after finding procedural lapses and a previously undisclosed financial relationship between TransCanada and CardnoEntrix, as well as insufficient scientific expertise within the department.  CardnoEntrix is the third-party environmental contractor for the proposed pipeline owned and operated by TransCanada. It is not surprising there were undisclosed financial relationships to push the pipeline; John Boehner owns stock in seven Canadian tar sand companies and he stands to profit financially if the pipeline reaches fruition. The Securities and Exchange  Commission (SEC) is considering an investigation into share manipulation and there is a petition calling for his resignation and admission that he is lying about the Keystone XL pipeline’s jobs potential and fuel supply benefits.

The pipeline will create, at best, a few thousand temporary jobs and the Canadian oil will be sold on the foreign market according to TransCanada. There are no benefits to the American people and instead of helping fuel prices, TransCanada reports it will increase them because the pipeline will drain off oil reserves as it passes through prime agricultural land. The potential for environmental catastrophe cannot be overstated according to the petroleum industry and Canadian regulators who rejected TransCanada’s permit to build the pipeline to the West Coast. In fact, another TransCanada pipeline spilled 12 times in one year, and in Michigan two years ago, the Lakehead pipeline system ruptured and crews are still cleaning up the mess because it was carrying tar sands oil. The difference between tar sands oil and regular crude is that tar sands oil sinks instead of floating. In Montana, more than 1,000 barrels of oil “spewed into the Yellowstone River after Exxon Mobile’s Silvertip pipeline burst during heavy flooding in the region in July,” and cleanup crews only recovered less than 1% of the spilled oil. There is no safe pipeline despite oil industry and Republican claims to the contrary.

Republicans assailed the President’s 2013 budget proposal for not slashing entitlements, but they conveniently omit that the oil industry receives entitlements that the President wants to eliminate.  It is patently un-American to take Americans’ tax dollars and give them to extremely profitable oil companies when the country’s infrastructure is crumbling and one-in-two Americans are living below or near poverty level.  It is also un-American to use American soil to transport foreign oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast for shipment to China, Europe, and South America; especially when the pipeline’s  country of origin prohibits transporting tar sand crude over their own land. Most of all, it is un-American for all Republicans and a few Democrats to put the interests of the oil industry over the best interests of the American people, but that is what happens when legislators live in an oil-induced stupor.

Image: transitionvoice.com

22 Replies to “Un-American Republicans Fight To Keep Big Oil On Corporate Welfare”

  1. you might add, trillions in corporate welfare, for haliburton, the for profit prison industry, big pharma, of course the M.I. complex, and i am sure there are many others i haven’t listed, & the GOP wont acknowledge as corporate welfare….

  2. . I am hoping that the Keystone pipeline becomes an issue that prevents John Boehner and others from being reelected in November. I wrote to my idiot Sen. Lamar Alexander and set aside the environmental issues just to talk about where the oil is going and he wouldn’t even reply to that, he only replied that they would do their best to make sure it was environmentally safe. I’m sad that I live in a state that will vote Republican as it goes underwater.

    I also hope that the president makes a big thing of the oil subsidies and points the finger right at the Republicans. Why on earth would we be paying subsidies to the oil companies who make billions, while the speculators crank up the cost of our oil. It’s unbelievable that this is still happening and is one point that I have of contention with the president. When him and John McCain were running all it took was the threat of legislation to drop the price of oil. And they had two years to get rid of those speculators and didn’t do it.

    Subsidies and the pipeline should do the Republicans by themselves. I hope they do. The president has the hammer on this and the subjects appeal to the American public when the truth is known

  3. If Tennessee goes under water, we’re in real trouble (Actually, at one time, the Mississippi Embayment extended a finger of the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Cairo, Illinois)

  4. Shiva,

    Lamar is USELESS….the morning of the Great Flood of Nashville in 2010, I was watching the local news as the area of town that looked like a tsunami had hit was Belle Meade/Green Hills. My office is two blocks from Lamar’s house – he was on the teevee machine calling the ACA “kamikaze” while NEVER mentioning the flood. His house was totally flooded but he could care less about the rest of us. He will NEVER do anything to be helpful. Surely, he will not run again in 2014 and hopefully Bob “Check Into Cash” Corker will not be re-elected nor will the most hatefilled RePig in TN, Marsha the Morannic Lightbulb Liar, Blackburn. The 101st is truly upset with her and she has not made one trip to Ft. Campbell since the troops started returning home – nor has either Senator – there are NO JOBS for the returning soldiers to the MOST DEPLOYED post in the USArmy.

  5. Reynardine, how do we make private contacts with people on this blog?

    Something huge has gone down in Central Florida, and I don’t know how to get it out (I did post something about it to the “Tips” link, but it seemed to vanish).

    In a nutshell, academic freedom is in dire danger in this state, along with the continuing existence of one of the top 50 research universities in the nation. If we don’t get people mobilized and fighting the Republicans IMMEDIATELY, they will accomplish some very heinous goals.

  6. Reynardine, how do we make private contacts with people (like you) on this blog?

    Something huge has gone down in Central Florida, and I don’t know how to get it out (I did post something about it to the “Tips” link, but it seemed to vanish).

    In a nutshell, academic freedom is in dire danger in this state, along with the continuing existence of one of the top 50 research universities in the nation. If we don’t get people mobilized and fighting the Republicans IMMEDIATELY, they will accomplish some very heinous goals.

  7. We do need some kind of mailbox/switchboard arrangement, where we could contact each other without incurring an undue risk of harassment or retaliation from Those People. I have thought about this myself. I’m no geek, though, and geeks are invited to post suggestions.

    I’d be fully willing to disclose my identity and contact information to someone like you, if I could keep it from the Mean People, and on the evidence, your feelings are the same.

  8. Has anyone heard about Koch donating millions of gallons of heating oil for low income households? No, because the billionaires only take. Giving isn’t in their makeup.

    And the price of a gallon of gasoline? Up, up, up and it will continue to go up until the election, just because the Koch brothers can. It’s the Republican way.

    Oil companies making billions in profits NEED you and me to subsidize them. Ask any Republican.

  9. I just sent you walkaways email
    Well I tried to, your email must not be correct, I cant send to you

  10. Thank you for bringing up the Koch Industries! Very sinister situations! Home offices all black granite, employees all over the country keep to themselves! What about their big investment in Venezuelan oil?

  11. what can we as american citizens do to stop these corrupt government officials there must be some way to fire them for unethical practices i already call and email my elected officials and also email our president weekly i also sign every petition and am tireless at spreading the facts and the truth so that more and more people can take action but is that going to be enough to stop them they obviously dont care that we the citizens know of their fraud and bribery taking and of investments in these oil bills its sinfull what they have been allowed to do in our country and please what can we do to stop this

  12. Thanks! There was something really strange this morning.. and you might see this message multiple times. If so, would the moderators delete the extras? I had multiple “database failure” messages and the attempts to post them never showed up (even with refresh), suggesting that they hadn’t been sent. Thus, I tried to post it every 20-30 minutes.

    BTW… if you know Leah Burton, she knows my email address (and I think she’d be glad to pass yours along to me).

  13. That’s why I use a pseudonym and try to keep my email private. I’ve experienced their ire before – six months or more of really vicious internet stalking and my name and old email showing up in some really not-friendly places (about 8-9 years ago).

    (It took a call to the NC state police to get it stopped.)

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