WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders are urging support in Congress for the "End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013" introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind-Vt.) and in the U.S. House by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).
"The first step in ending our addictively high consumption of fossil fuel energy is ending handouts to Big Oil," said Audrey Clement, co-chair of the Eco-Action Committee of the Green Party of the United States (http://www.gp.org/committees/ecoaction/index.php). "The passage of this bill should be accompanied by a halt on fracking, mountaintop detonation mining, and offshore drilling in U.S. coastal waters, and disapproval for proposed pipelines from Canadian tar-sands oil fields. Without these initial steps, promises of action to avert a global climate catastrophe can't be taken seriously."
The House bill's text (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr3574/text) lists six reasons for ending taxpayer-funded "welfare" for the fossil-fuel industry:
(1) President Obama joined other world leaders from the Group of Twenty in pledging to phase out wasteful fossil-fuel subsidies;
(2) the Environmental Law Institute found that from 2002 through 2008, Federal fossil-fuel subsidies in the United States totaled over $72,000,000,000, while Federal renewable-energy investments totaled $12,200,000,000;
(3) according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the 5 largest oil corporations have made more than $1,000,000,000,000 in profits during the past decade;
(4) according to the Center for American Progress, the 5 largest oil corporations posted more than $70,000,000,000 in profits in just the first 3 quarters of 2013;
(5) according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the entire oil and gas industry spent $105,000,000 on lobbying in the first 3 quarters of 2013, which was an effective investment in protecting their extraordinary tax loopholes and subsidies; and
(6) taxpayers in the United States should not be subsidizing fossil fuel companies in a period of record debt.
On Nov. 22, Sen. Sanders issued a press release announcing his bill (http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/legislation-to-end-fossil-fuel-tax-breaks-introduced-by-sen-sanders-rep-ellison), in which he noted that "The five most profitable oil companies (ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhilips) together made more than $1 trillion in profits over the past decade."
Green Party candidates, including 2012 presidential nominee Jill Stein, have promoted a "Green New Deal" to curb climate change by transitioning to a Green economy in the U.S. that would put millions of Americans to work in development and implementation of safe and clean energy technologies, conservation, retrofitting homes and buildings for energy efficiency, and expansion of public transportation to reduce the need for car traffic (http://www.jillstein.org/green_new_deal). The Green New Deal would also enact a fair carbon tax and reforms to end the power of fossil-fuel and other corporate lobbies to influence candidates and officeholders.
"Meet America's Biggest Welfare Queens"
By The Daily Take / The Thom Hartmann Program, in Truthout, 25 November 2013
Do you like this post?