- The profit levels of the big oil companies are obscene but no one has the political will in Washington to remove their obviously unnecessary subsidies. Can there be any doubt that the U.S.’s political processes are controlled by big money from behind the scenes?
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President Barack Obama is calling anew on Congress to end tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry, saying America needs to develop alternative sources of energy in the face of rising petrol prices.
Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address that he expected Congress to consider in the next few weeks halting US$4 billion ($4.85 billion) in tax subsidies, something he hasn’t been able to get through Congress throughout his presidency.
The vote would put lawmakers on record about whether they “stand up for oil companies” or “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”, Obama said.
Industry officials and many Republicans in Congress have argued that cutting the tax breaks would lead to higher petrol prices, raising costs on oil companies and affecting their investments in exploration and production.
The measure is considered a long shot in Congress, given that Obama couldn’t end the subsidies when Democrats controlled Congress earlier in his term.