Letter to the editor: Catering to Big Oil

September 11, 2017


To the editor:

I believe our leadership in Washington, Republican and Democrat, Congress, Senate and White House, need to remember that they are working for the people, not the corporations.

In this particular case, I refer to Big Oil.

Big Oil earns an estimated $200-plus billion a year in profit. They receive over $22.4 billion a year in U.S. subsidies, including tax credits and exploration and development monies. That comes out to almost $70 per man, woman and child in this country in subsidies alone.

If we cut every single subsidy to Big Oil, they would remain the most profitable industry in the world.

Within 24 hours of Hurricanes Harvey, Katrina and others, and within 24 hours of any Middle Eastern war or unrest, prices shoot up. The oil in the pipelines at those moments are not affected by those issues, and when the issues are over, they take months to lower, long after the oil affected by those issues has run through the system.

Congress and the president (Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump) should have put the oil executives in prison for price gouging during a crisis and cut their subsidies. Instead they accepted millions in campaign contributions.

But I cannot blame Washington, D.C. I blame us. Until we as a people care and do something, we are going to get the government we deserve.


Richard Heckler 7 months, 1 week ago

Excellent comment .....

There is plenty voters can do about it. Don't vote for the big spenders ever. Sending the same names back for the past 37 years isn't working for the nation nor the economy nor the job market.

Lets’s demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/

Demand a change on the next ballot.

We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Who would be against Public Funding? The special interest money providers plus their bought and paid for politicians!

The voting process can work. Do as Ralph Nader has been suggesting for years. Replace 90% of incumbents each voting cycle.

Brock Masters 7 months, 1 week ago

Richard, normally I just scroll past your normal cut and paste posts, but I read this one and agree with it.

I system is broken and controlled by special interest and politicians looking for re-election.

I support term limits and oppose gerrymandering. Voting districts should be relatively straightforward. Ensure equal representation in each district and use straight horizontal and vertical lines to define them. Only deviate to avoid breaking up a county.

No gerrymandering to affect political party representation, race, etc.

Part of the solution is recognize we have a problem and stop bashing one another. Our real enemy isn't each other but the corru8politicians and broken system.

Louis Kannen 7 months, 1 week ago

Nice to actually see some demonstrable, mind-wrap-aroundable $$.$$ figures pertaining these historically greedy, greasy 'Grease Barons'. Thanks

Michael Kort 7 months, 1 week ago

Has anybody noticed that the only truly permanent seat holders in Washington DC are the lobbyists and their monied sponsors ? ? ?

Sure, we got Donald and he can order FEMA and the EPA ( that he wanted to defund ) to go and do battle with the Hurricanes ( the defanged EPA because many superfund sites were flooded out and their poisons washed all around with survivors wading in them in Texas ) but naive populist operators like Donald who need their on the job toilet training is what Americans seem to want in their politicians these days.......new ones who are populist knee jerkers .

Donald will figure out eventually what the EPA does and why it existed before the chemical companies nearly pushed it into extinction with his help .

Get rid of every sitting politician............ and the lobbyists will still be there $ pedaling influence, projecting $ power and protecting evil $ influences ( that is their jobs ) in congress and a conservative court system has made it all very $ legally possible and even more profitable .

It is the lobbyist $ money votes that count .

As for big oil and their chemical industry shadows that are doing the tobacco companies favorite song and denial dance concerning global warming,..... haven't they got theirs in spades in Houston and the Texas coast lately ?.

They say that what goes around.............but they and their shareholders are probably not convinced by a long shot .

Stu Clark 7 months, 1 week ago

Exactly why term limits are as false hope. The limits provide a fresh crop of newbies each term for the lobbyists to "educate".

Calvin Anders 7 months, 1 week ago

Kevin, I think your premise is incorrect. Under the current political system, our elected officials don't work for us. They do work for the corporations. Corporate lobbies and donors are the ones who pay for the campaigns and the ones who will finance efforts to unseat those elected if they do not support a corporate agenda. Voters have been gullible enough to be manipulated over and over again into voting on issues unrelated to corporate control of our political system. Elected officials are generally smart enough to pander to those who will help them politically. Representing the interests of voters generally don't help politicians stay in office. Until voters wake up and start voting based on their own self interests, we will continue to be burdened by rotten, lying, immoral career politicians who spend the majority of their time chasing money and pandering almost exclusively to the rich and powerful. Blaming the politicians is like blaming the scorpion for stinging the frog.

Brock Masters 7 months, 1 week ago

While I generally agree, the problem is often not having a viable candidate who will represent me. Often the choice between the lesser of two evils or dumb and dumber.

Kevin Elliott 7 months, 1 week ago

While I do not disagree, I consider it a lazy cop out answer.

We have the vote, if we, as an electorate, demanded real change, we could get it. Money and rules stacked against us can be broken if we decide to break it.

we are too damn lazy and stupid to bother.

Calvin Anders 7 months, 1 week ago

Brock, I agree with you completely. If corporations have done their jobs, by the time we show up to cast a ballot, the only ones on the ballot are those who are already bought and paid for. None of this will happen over night, but in order to change the system, we have to get involved at the grass roots. We have to be engaged before the primaries. We have to push hard for campaign finance reform. We have to look past the constant noise of manufactured wedge issues and realize that, by far, the most important issue is to take power back from the oligarchs and drive out politicians who serve only the wealth industrial complex. Until we do this little else will be solved because those in power have an incentive to keep us fighting while we ignore their plundering.

Calvin Anders 7 months, 1 week ago

Kevin, your letter to the editor admonishes "our leadership in Washington, Republican and Democrat, Congress, Senate and White House, need to remember that they are working for the people, not the corporations." My point is that elected officials have no incentive to represent voters. My point is that the officials we have elected have a vested interest in representing their big money donors and big money lobbyists. If we want anything to change, voters have to change their behavior. It's not a lazy cop out to observe that the politicians are bought and paid for. I would suggest your opening line should have been "our leadership in Washington, Republican and Democrat, Congress, Senate and White House, need to BE REMINDED that they are working for the people, not the corporations", because the politicians are going to keep doing what works for them until the voters change.

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