US Subsidies Grease the Skids Into Chaos

Thu, 2008-10-02 07:42Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

US Subsidies Grease the Skids Into Chaos

Why do U.S. oil companies – some of the most profitable corporations on the planet – receive 20 to 40 billion dollars a year in subsidies from the U.S. government?

Previous Comments

off the top of my head (yeah thats what I do)

I’d say it works like this. When oil was cheap, oil company lobbies succceeded in getting gov royalties eliminated - to keep the industry healthy or whatever.

Now that oil and profits are up - a reintroduction of royalties could be done - effectively a tax on the industry - that would inevitably raise prices at the pump and other downstream consumer locations.

Consumer price jumps are not necessarily a bad thing, but the government of the day won’t want to see a big jump at the pump. people get testy when that happens.

Uh, oil companies do not get 20 to 40 billion dollars in subsidies. That’s just a number made up by a guy called Doug Koplow that doesn’t adhere to government rules or accuracy.

You want to talk about subsidies? Let’s have a chat about wind power. :)

No. It is a number derived from the value of indirect market protections. And even if one went with just cash amounts of Federal dollars, fossil energy does receive an order of magnitude greater amounts of cash subsidies than non-fossil energy, and that is counting in the cash-money given for Corn-Ethanol boondoggle.

… fossil energy does receive an order of magnitude greater amounts of cash subsidies than non-fossil energy …

Oil provides a huge proportion of our energy compared to the miniscule amounts provided by wind and solar. As a percentage, subsidies are much lower for the oil industry then wind or solar.

…well two things trump your equivocation of the two.

First is that fossil fuels have been receiveing the their protections and subsides since the early 20th century. With the exception of conventional hydro-electric.

Second is that the high and long term environmental costs to the local and global Commons are not included in those numbers.

It’s a tough situation to be in. The administration that is… They received their jobs through lobbyists and voters… now they’d have to sort of bite the hand that fed them by doing the right thing and changing an archaic system? The same “issue” exists with nuclear waste. US is the only country that still burries its waste while others ship it to France to get it recycled - why? Because of an old (WW2 era) passage in the law-books stating that no nuclear tech shall leave the borders (paraphrasing - can google if you like for the details).

Anyway, until the broken system of “special interest groups” is fixed - we’ll have a minority running the country. Until the people can see past the spin and special interet group propoganda - we’ll have a minority running the country. It’s up to the people to make that change - to self educate and elect based on principles that are required for a healthy sustainable country. Until that happens, the majority will appoint people that won’t do what they’re supposed to do & won’t give money where it needs to go…

Just a question:
Why do greenies and lefties hate oil and energy companies so badly.
These companies are responsible for providing millions of jobs world wide and in many cases are the only real economic drivers for whole countries.
Without them of you would be very much poorer.
So why do you hate the hand that feeds you?
Could it be that the socialistic loathing for anything prosperous.
The idea that profit and prosperity are inherently evil?
Or perhaps you just like the idea of confiscating from the hard working and successful and sharing it amongst the lazy.
Either way it is an interesting question, even without the myth of AGW to complicate it.

Didn’t you see the George Clooney movie “Syrianna” Gary? I know it’s just a movie, but oil companies are evil. They do bad, bad things. They control the world. And did I say they were evil?

The left, and greens, have a tendency to distrust corporations. In particular, they distrust any really successful corporations. Hence, oil companies have to be bad.

Why do you love oil companies so much, Gary? Because they supply your paycheque?

they supply everybodies paycheque - take away the oil and we’re all living under the bridge.

They grease you too, Slick. Seems you don’t know squat from a hole in the ground if you can’t figure out how to live without oil. Pig fat would work just as well if the KY jelly runs out.

 When oil was cheap, oil company lobbies succceeded in getting gov royalties eliminated - to keep the industry healthy or whatever.

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