Monday, July 4, 2011

Obama's Call for an End to Oil Subsidies and Big Oil's Suggestion

To make cuts in American government spending the President has once again proposed ending oil subsidies. On Wednesday June 29, President Barack Obama, indicated that it reasonable to expect oil and gas companies that “have done so well” in the current economy to give up some breaks to help close federal deficits. “I don’t think that’s real radical,” he said.

In response to calls to end oil subsidies, Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, told Washington Wire, rather than cutting subsidies or raising taxes on the oil and gas industry, America should increase their exploitation of domestic petroleum resources.

The industry has been pushing for more production in places such as the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Big Oil is seemingly oblivious to the environmental costs. These risks are particularly great as they apply to offshore oil.

Last summer we witnessed a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska has seen its share of devastating oil spills. The 1989, Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska impacted over 1100 miles of non-continuous coastline in Alaska. Despite miles of booms, scores of skimming ships and armies of beach washers, only 14 percent of the oil was ever cleaned up.

In the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, more than 700 million liters of crude oil leaked into the water. Some have suggested that efforts to address the spill have exacerbated the problem. Dispersants used to reduce the size of the oil slick also impacting upon marine ecosystems. A break in a BP-owned pipeline on the North Coast of Alaska spewed 200,000 gallons of oil in March 2006.

The fact that fossil fuels are the leading cause of climate change make taking advice from Big Oil sort of like asking a thief about security. Its would be a great idea if they did not want to steal from you.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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