On top of paying nearly $4 a gallon for gas, we're also padding Big Oil companies' huge profits through tax subsidies. And just yesterday, despite huge public outcry to stop them, the House of Representatives voted to end debate on putting a stop to the corporate welfare. It's pretty easy to see why. As The Hill reports today, Big Oil poured huge amounts of campaign cash into lawmakers' campaign coffers and, SHOCK, they got exactly what they wanted.
The Hill story cites a press release issued yesterday by Public Campaign Action Fund noting: Interestingly, according to the campaign watchdog group Public Campaign Action Fund, House members who voted to preserve Big Oil’s corporate welfare “received five times more in campaign contributions, on average, from the oil and gas industry in the 2010 election cycle than those who voted to proceed” with the motion to end the Big Oil welfare tax.
From The Hill piece: "Even as gas prices soar to near-record levels and after the five largest U.S. oil companies reported over $30 billion in profits in the first quarter of this year, Big Oil’s pawns in Congress are protecting their corporate welfare funds."
And they're not stopping there. The Huffington Post reports that sponsors of a bill that would "expand oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and open the coastal waters of Virginia for exploration have received more than $8.8 million combined in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry, a review of campaign finance records shows."
These members who are sponsoring this bill are essentially saying: "You destroyed the Gulf of Mexico. You devasted the local economy. But, hey, no worries, get right back out there. Oh, did that campaign check arrive yet."
So, as the Big Oil industry laughs all the way to the bank on $30 billion in profit in the first quarter, the willing-to-comply-if-the-price-is-right GOP House just made sure the good times would keep on going. All the while, hard working Americans who are struggling in a down economy are deciding between a tank of gas and a bag of groceries.
George Costanza, of Seinfeld fame, once said: "There's nothing dirtier than a big ball of oil." He's slightly off. There's nothing dirtier than a big wad of Big Oil Campaign cash!