Entries in Subsidies (4)


Obama Calls for End to Oil and Gas Subsidies

Comstock/Thinkstock(NASHUA, N.H.) -- Facing attacks from the campaign trail over the soaring price of gas, President Obama on Thursday called for Congress to eliminate $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies, calling them “outrageous” and “inexcusable.”

“I’m asking Congress:  Eliminate this oil industry giveaway right away. I want them to vote on this in the next few weeks. Let’s put every single member of Congress on record:  You can -- you can stand with the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people,” the president said at a speech in Nashua, N.H.

The president’s proposal isn’t likely to get far in Congress, where Republicans claim the idea amounts to a tax increase on energy production and would not lower gas prices.

“Right now 4 billion of your tax dollars -- 4 billion -- subsidizes the oil industry every year,” the president said to boos from the crowd at Nashua Community College. “These companies are making record profits right now, tens of billions of dollars a year.  Every time you…fill up your gas tank, they’re making money, every time.”

“Does anyone really think that Congress should give them another $4 billion this year?” Obama asked.

“No!” the audience shouted back.

The president’s speech came as Republican front-runner Mitt Romney pivoted his standard stump speech to focus on energy as well, saying the president “does not understand energy. He is the problem; he is not the solution.”

The president accused his GOP rivals of trying to score political points from the rising cost of gas and aggressively targeted Republicans who have called for increased domestic oil production to bring down the cost of gas.

“Anybody who tells you that we can just drill our way out of this problem does not know what they’re talking about, or they’re not telling you the truth, one or the other,” the president said.

Instead, Obama argued his “all-of-the-above” approach is the “only real solution” to tackle the nation’s long-term energy challenges.

“The easiest thing in the world is to make phony election-year promises about lowering gas prices.  But what’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that we’ve been talking about for 30 years and has not been tackled, has not been solved.  It’s not going to be solved in one year or one term -- maybe not completely even in one decade.  But that’s the kind of commitment that we need right now.  That’s what this moment requires,” he said.

Steve Fox, a retiree from Peterborough, N.H., who came to see the president Thursday, told ABC he doesn’t expect the president or Republicans to exact a quick fix. “What are you gonna do? Put price controls on? If you want to pay less at the pump, don’t buy as much,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Would 'Put Country First' and Pay More Taxes

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump backed up fellow billionaire Warren Buffett’s op-ed in The New York Times and said he’d be willing to pay more in taxes, but he doesn’t think Wall Street would go along with it.

“I would be willing to," Trump told ABC's chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, "but a lot of people wouldn't be.  A lot of people would leave the country. I'm talking about big people, job-producing people. Would I be willing? Yeah, I'd be willing.  I’d put country first.  Lot of people don't necessarily put country first."

Trump said these “unpatriotic” businessmen would take their money elsewhere, leaving the U.S. with nothing.

“I deal with Wall Street all the time.  I know all of them…You're going to have a mass exodus.  You already have an exodus out of this country.  But you're going to have a mass exodus of business out of this country when you start taxing too high,” he said.

Except when it comes to oil, and specifically the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.  Trump says we should close the loopholes on oil companies, a position that sets him apart from many in the Tea Party.

“If you go back to certain companies, Exxon Mobil, the oil companies, for us to be subsidizing oil companies is absolutely insane.  And frankly, the oil companies really facilitate OPEC.  The worst abuser we have is OPEC,” he said.

“Every time the economy gets good, oil goes up…So what they do is they systematically destroy any momentum you get.  Because oil should be selling at $25 to $30 a barrel right now,” Trump said.

The real estate mogul said he'd also like to tax Chinese products in order to get the country to stop manipulating their currency.

“You put a 25 percent tax on Chinese products, products coming into this country, two things are going to happen.  Number one, this country's going to take in a bundle of money,” he said.  “And number two, a lot of people won't have their products made in China.  They'll start being made in Alabama, in Iowa, in New York, in Texas and lots of other places.”

Trump added that if this move started a trade war it would be okay because we shouldn’t be trading when there is such an imbalance -- it’s not fair trade.

“The fact is, China is not our friend.  I was asked, ‘Are they our enemy?’ I said, ‘Yeah.  Actually, they're our enemy.  China is our enemy.’  What they're doing to us is unbelievable,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Oil Industry Lobbyist Warns of Catastrophe if Subsidies End

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama's call to end tax breaks for domestic oil producers as one way to help reduce the deficit is getting a big thumbs down from some business groups.

Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, says the White House should look for other ways to eliminate the nation's crushing debt.

According to Gerard, "Raising taxes on an industry that already contributes more than $86 million every day to the federal government takes us in the wrong direction."

Gerard, who heads the powerful oil-industry lobbying group, says getting rid of tax breaks for the industry would send gasoline prices soaring again and force companies to lay off workers.

He also contends that pension and retirement plans would also be adversely affected since he claims that virtually all "oil and gas companies are owned by pension plans, 401(k)s and individual investors."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Speaker Boehner -- Cutting Oil Subsidies 'Wouldn't Lower Gas Prices One Penny'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As top executives from the five most profitable oil companies testified on Capitol Hill Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said that a Senate bill to scrap tax subsidies for big oil would not lower gasoline prices at all, but maintained that it is an idea worthy of consideration in the House as part of a broader examination of the corporate tax code later this year.
“We all know that going after oil companies is easy politics, but we also know that if this bill were to pass it wouldn't lower gas prices one penny,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “I believe that as we get into looking at fundamental reform of the corporate tax code, this and every other issue ought to be considered."
With gas prices climbing above $4 per gallon, Boehner had told ABC News in an exclusive interview from his Ohio district April 25 that he believed the so-called Big Five oil companies -- Shell, BP, Exxon Mobile, Chevron and ConocoPhillips -- deserved “some part of this to blame” for soaring prices, and suggested cutting subsidies was “certainly something we should be looking at.”
"We're in a time when the federal government's short on revenues,” Boehner said last month. “They ought to be paying their fair share."
Those comments reverberated across Washington, with President Obama writing a letter to Congressional leadership urging bipartisan cooperation in order to conquer the challenge.
Senate Democrats also responded by unveiling a bill Tuesday to scrap tax breaks for the Big Five and pledged to directly turn over about $2 billion in annual savings from the proposed cuts to pay down the federal deficit.

The measure, known as the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, would eliminate the domestic manufacturing tax deduction and close a separate loophole that Senate Democrats say “amounts to the U.S. government subsidizing foreign oil production.”

House Republicans, meanwhile, have passed three natural resources bills over the past week aimed at opening up domestic energy production. Boehner says the GOP’s legislation would immediately lower prices at the pump by increasing American energy production and creating more American jobs.
Boehner added that Republicans will continue working to address rising gasoline prices by bringing “more bills on the floor in the coming weeks and months.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio