President Obama Needs You to Call for End to Big Oil Subsidies

The President is calling on you to write your representative and ask them to stand with you against big oil. He wants to end the 4 billion in subsidies the oil companies are getting as they make record profits.

Obama said, “In the next few weeks, I expect Congress to vote on ending these subsidies. And when they do, we’re going to put every single Member of Congress on record: They can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people. They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century, or they can place their bets on America’s future. So make your voice heard. Send your representative an email. Give them a call. Tell them to stand with you.”

President Obama also used his weekly address to push back on the Republican selling point that they will bring gas prices down by drilling more here. He pointed out, “It’s easy to promise a quick fix when it comes to gas prices. There just isn’t one. Anyone who tells you otherwise – any career politician who promises some three-point plan for two-dollar gas – they’re not looking for a solution. They’re just looking for your vote.”

Obama is focused on ways we can be less dependent on foreign oil in the long run, by “producing more energy and using less.” He pointed out that in fact his administration signed Wall Street reforms to stop traders from unfairly manipulating the energy market, “Unrest in the Middle East can tighten global oil supply. Growing nations like China or India adding cars to the road increases demand. But one thing we should control is fraud and manipulation that can cause prices to spike even further.”

Watch here:

The truth is that we drill more under this administration than we did under Bush. Obama called out “career politicians” who make promises they can’t keep about 2 dollar gas, since gas prices are set on the global market and are impacted by a number of factors out of our control.

Republicans stand united for big oil, but there are also plenty of Democrats in states where oil is the industry who stand with them. This is a fight against big oil owning your representative. Any representative bought by big oil needs to feel that they might go in 2012. If only the people could be as vocal and united against these outrageous subsidies as they are for other causes or as the Tea Party was against healthcare reform (the surreal chants of “get the government out of my Medicare” haven’t left me yet. If they can fight for something so absurd, surely the people can unite against big oil.)

Big oil gets 4 billion dollars a year in subsidies while they are making record profits. A “subsidy” is the same thing as welfare; it’s money paid for by taxpayers to “incentivize” drilling. It’s corporate padding. It’s “assistance” in times of need, sometimes offered when the industry is needed but can’t make it on its own. Clearly that is not the case with the oil industry.

In a free market, why would small government Republicans be pushing for giving taxpayer money to companies that are already making record profits?

Republicans also want to roll back the Wall Street reforms Obama passed, which attempt to protect us from companies like Enron manipulating energy costs for their own gain. The President said, “So it’s not just wrong, but dangerous that some in Congress want to roll back those protections and return to the days when companies like Enron could avoid regulation and reap enormous profits, no matter who it hurt.”

Now, why won’t the Republicans and some Democrats consider cutting those subsidies? Republicans are against subsidies for alternative energy, and yet they scream about gas prices. Gee. Whatever could be the issue? Could it be the amount of money the oil industry uses for lobbying your representatives to vote in their favor?

Money that goes to the oil industry to bribe them to work is no different than money spent on alternative energy, except that alternative energy is needed if we are to be a leader in the future and is not making record profits. Workable, real alternative energy actually needs to be incentivized for our future. Alternative energy can also be a source of new jobs, while big oil has downsized jobs while making record profits. Why are we paying them 4 billion dollars and not even requiring them to hire more workers, but we are making welfare recipients pee in a cup?

Now is the time for the people’s voices to rise up and be heard, for the Occupy movements, labor movements and all movements of the people to stand up and make their voices heard. This isn’t just about the environment; no, it’s about market fairness, it’s about pushing back hard against Wall Street, it’s about how we spend our money, and it’s about whose money controls your representative.

It’s also about having the back of the people who are pushing against big oil. They need political cover, especially in an election year. You can give it to them, you can motivate them and justify their position, just as Occupy justified and strengthened the discussion regarding tax cuts for the 1%. You can drive the narrative and push it further toward the people and away from corporate money by making your voice heard.

That 4 billion dollars is our money, to be spent where we think it most needed. Republicans destroyed this country’s credit rating over the deficit, and yet they won’t even discuss cutting 4 billion in welfare to big oil. Why is that?

Just imagine if the political discussion were “justify these subsidies” instead of asking Americans to “make sacrifices” while giving billions to already profitable companies. The people united could make that happen.

True, it’s doubtful that in these times of corporate representation the oil subsidies will be revoked or even reduced immediately, but the real point here is to use this moment to change the dialogue, to take it back for the people. If enough people speak up, the question will at least be asked, and it needs to be asked. Questions are followed by polls which are followed by a changed political narrative, and changed narratives can and do make a difference. As all good leaders know, incremental change (while frustrating) is lasting change.

This week, your representatives will go on record as with you or with big oil. Make sure they know you are paying attention.

5 Replies to “President Obama Needs You to Call for End to Big Oil Subsidies”

  1. By all means yes call your senators and congressman they do not need those subsidies.
    Because of there constant raising of gas prices when they don’t need to other then more profits for them.
    We could take that money and give every automobile owner a gas voucher to pay for the outrageously high gas. That way those who are unemployed and can’t afford the gas to find a job will be able to.
    Every gas station should have a red faced devil as there sign / symbol because the oil companies are surely evil.

  2. 4 billion dollars so they can raise the prices of gas by a buck in a month? That’s not right in ANY WAY! We need to show these gougers that they do not have this country by the short and curlies any more!

  3. Why should we pay them to leave us without jobs and gouge us at the pump? I’ll call my rep even though I know they don’t care.

  4. Unfortunately,I live in West Virginia,where oil,gas and coal rule.I’ve contacted Rockerfeller and Manchin before about this and heard nothing back from either of them.No surprise there.Dino’s.the 2 of them.But I will do my duty and call again.
    I agree that these types need to go but the alternative is way too frightening to imagine,although I do vote Green Party here.

  5. The myth of drill baby drill is a meme put forth by imbecile Sarah Palin whose state wants to drill more (in spite of numerous spills on the tundra :( ) they want to drill to send oil/gas to JAPAN! The lies fly around KeyKL also and that gas/oil is going to CHINA!(not USA-USA!)
    I say lets not drill anymore for Japan or China and let them get it somewhere else.
    Lets stop raping the planet, the earth is not a ginormous piggy bank to be looted for humans existence.
    It is possibille to use new Technologies for wind power, solar, and hydro & geothermal.
    Lets develop these energies that work with the earth and don’t poison people?
    The Big oil companies are EVIL! If you believe in Satan, I don’t but they are THAT evil!!! We need to phase them out.

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