Five Reasons to Repeal Subsidies for Oil Companies

Today, Members of Congress have a simple choice to make: stand with big oil companies, or stand with the American people. President Obama spoke about that choice this morning from the Rose Garden:

Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits – profits that go up every time folks like these pull into a gas station. But on top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year in taxpayer subsidies – a subsidy they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.

Think about that. It’s like hitting the American people twice. You’re already paying a premium at the pump right now.  And on top of that, Congress thinks it’s a good idea to send billions more of your tax dollars to the oil industry?

Here are five reasons to repeal oil subsidies:

  1. In 2011 the three largest U.S. oil companies made a combined profit of more than $80 billion. They don’t need more help from taxpayers who are already having a tough time filling up their tanks. High oil prices give oil companies all the incentive they need to produce more.
  2. American oil is booming. Domestic oil production is the highest it’s been in eight years. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high.  We’ve added enough oil and gas pipeline to circle the Earth and then some. For two years in a row, we’ve made more oil here in the United States than we bought from other countries. And the Obama Administration has taken other steps to help oil companies succeed, including opening up millions of acres of federal lands and waters to oil and gas production. 
  3. We can’t drill our way out of high gas prices. We use more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but we only have 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves. That means that even if we drilled every drop of American oil tomorrow, we’d still have to buy oil from other countries to make up the difference. 
  4. Clean energy technologies are more promising than ever. Investments in wind and solar power are providing clean, renewable energy to millions of homes and businesses around the country. Manufacturers are building more fuel efficient cars and trucks that are helping drivers get more miles to the gallon so they can fill up less. Advanced, homegrown biofuels are powering fleet trucks across the country.
  5. Oil and gas are only one part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. We want successful companies to thrive and grow, but we also have to get our priorities straight. We have to invest in our future, not subsidize the past. Instead of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, we should be using that money to double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that will help us break the cycle of high prices that happen year after year.

Read more about President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy.