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PiiP: Corporate interests influence two extremes of energy subsidies

Democratic and Republican political parties of the United States Congress are attempting to fund private energy companies through government subsides


Bryce Dunham-Zemberi

Democratic and Republican parties try to fund energy companies through government subsidies, representing how corporate interests can dominate the entire legislative cultural. Subsidies range from leasing The Continental Shelf and oil companies to the extension of tax credit and renewable energy corporations.

One example of this is, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) receiving $10,000 from ExxonMobile and later introduced a yet-to-be-passed bill—The Offshore Production Safety Act of 2011 (S.953). McConnell’s circumstances not only reflect the tendencies of big oil and the Republican party but also reflects our legislative system as whole. Both Democratic and Republican parties are financed by multinational corporations.

In the words of Dr. Cornel West, it’s as if the best and brightest citizens boycott elected public office while the most ambitious go into the private sector. Energy companies are filled with lobbyists, who solely operate for corporate profit.

Within the science of business, a bi-monthly meeting with legislators like McConnell and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is well worth the investment. This access influences offshore drilling and government contracts/tax incentives. The Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, introduced by Menendez, is trying to move traditional oil subsidiaries and tax breaks to companies who emphasize renewable energy.

The bill (S.2204) reads, “striking ($2.3 billion) and inserting ($4.6 billion),”  for expanding qualifying credit to advanced energy projects.

Menendez is also financed by several renewable energy companies. These tax breaks are more for green energy than for oil companies.

These subsidies would go to renewable energy companies like Everpower Wind Holdings—who, in 2012, donated to the Menendez campaign, reported

The strength of lobbying is shown by ideologically opposing energy company’s having an influence on legislation. The actions of ExxonMobile are similar to the actions of EverPower.

These corporations are funding two extremes of the spectrum, leaving the average American at a loss when it comes to cheaper gas. If the goal of these subsidies and tax breaks are to make the cost of gasoline cheaper for the average American, then Congress should consider investing energy subsidies into individual taxpayers, not corporations.

Whereas current subsidies and tax breaks are recycled into more subsidies and tax breaks.

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