Tax won’t cure us

Punishing oil and gas affects all

Posted: May 2, 2013 at 4:28 a.m.

Unsurprisingly, President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget proposal hits oil and gas companies with excessive new taxes while also eliminating $4 billion in “subsidies” to the industry.

This story is only available from our archives.

Editorial, Pages 13 on 05/02/2013

Nothing says fairness like editorials by a lobbyist for the industry.

Posted by: cdawg

May 2, 2013 at 2:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

There are so many misstatements in this article, just want to mention a few:
1. Robbins claims that the fossil fuel industry pays 44.3 % tax. Reuters claims it's 13-18%. But whatever it is it isn't enough to cover the real cost of burning fossil fuels.

2.. The US economy CAN adjust to a clean energy economy with a carbon fee and dividend if 100% of the dividend is returned to the consumer.

3. The EPA may be satisfied with the clean up of Mayflower but the residents are getting sick from oil wastes being dumped in a Faulkner County staging area rather than being transported to an Exxon refinery for proper disposal. Kalamazoo is not cleaned up, and 40 miles of the river is dead. There is still oil left under the sand in Prince William Sound, Alaska, from the spill 20 years ago.

4. Robbins claims that the subsidies given are actually tax deductions for research and development, i.e. looking for more oil. But has done the math. We can burn less than 565 gigatons of CO2 in order to remain below 2% C of warming, beyond which could be catastrophic. Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re looking for more?

Posted by: Shebu

May 3, 2013 at 9:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

This article is appropriate for "The Onion." It reads like a bad parody of a oil shill spinning for the industry (which is what it is). A couple pokes in the soft spots:

Robbins: "Obama’s... budget proposal hits oil and gas companies with excessive new taxes...">>


Rob: "while also eliminating $4 billion in “subsidies” to the industry.">>

Notice the subsidies in "quotes" because, they're not really subsidies right? Wrong. Let's review, again:

"As recently as 2005, when windfall profits for energy companies prompted even President George W. Bush — a former Texas oilman himself — to publicly call for an end to incentives, the energy bill he and Congress enacted still included $2.6 billion in oil subsidies."

The American Chemical Society cites a report by Double Bottom Line Venture Capital that explains how the oil industry has reaped benefits from subsidies. From 1918 to 2009, the average annual subsidy was $4.86 billion. By comparison, the nuclear energy industry gets around $3.5 billion per year.

When the study adjusted for inflation to 2009 dollars, the oil and gas industry received subsidies amounting to $1.8 billion per year in the first 15 years of the fledgling industry. The American Coalition for Ethanol estimates that when combined with state and local government aid to large oil companies, subsidies amount to anywhere from $133.8 billion to $280.8 billion annually from all sources of taxpayer aid that goes to the oil and gas industry."

"...oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process."

"President Obama’s 2011 budget proposes to eliminate nine different tax expenditures that primarily benefit oil and gas companies. Cutting these special tax deductions, preferences, and credits would save the government about $45 billion over the next 10 years."

I don't think we need to be putting the word "subsidy" in quotes when taking about Big Oily. They're definitely on the dole.

Rob: "Fleecing the oil and gas industry might be a smart move politically.">>

Yes, because giving them billions per year in direct taxpayer subsidies is *fleecing!*

Like I said, this is parody. Send it to The Onion.


Posted by: fayfreethinker

May 3, 2013 at 11:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rob: "new taxes on this sector will prove devastating to the economy,...">>

Yes, because these guys just won't make it without welfare right?

"Exxon reports record profit of nearly $16 billion"
"Exxon Mobil reported a quarterly profit of nearly $16 billion Thursday -- the highest ever for a U.S. corporation." (2012)

One company, one quarter! "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" This is the company the government needs to be borrowing money and going in debt to support? Really?

Rob: "the industry hands over a whopping $85 million per day to the U.S.">>

Not enough. Triple it.

Rob: "increasing the tax rate... would have destructive economic consequences.">>

Yes. Exxon might not make $16 billion a quarter without their precious government subsidy of $4.5 billion per year to their industry. They might only make $15 billion per quarter. And that would be "destructive." Hilarious.

"Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs

About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies.
So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006."

Posted by: fayfreethinker

May 3, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

You would think that at least the ADG would have pro-con articles on this issue instead of giving a free ad to the oil industry.
You would think.

Posted by: Coralie

May 3, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Putting any more money into government from any source isn't the answer to anything but I did read that Arkansas is now something like the 4th most bike friendly state somewhere in the paper. I like bikes. I especially like the ones that have very loud throaty exhausts. There is nothing like riding around and waking up the local fauna and drowning out the incessant rumblings of leftist progressive liberals. Overcoming the obnoxious noises they make can be a chore. A good set of Vance and Hines "straight shots" helps a lot.

Posted by: jeffieboy

May 3, 2013 at 12:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Putting any more money into government from any source isn't the answer to anything."
I'm glad you agree with me that we should cut the defense budget and do away with corporate subsidies especially to the oil, coal, and nuclear industries.

Posted by: Coralie

May 3, 2013 at 2:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )