In the face of gas prices skyrocketing past $4 a gallon, House Republicans are starting to regret their vote last month to preserve billions in annual subsidies for Big Oil. With U.S. oil production up sharply AND gas prices up sharply, clearly those subsidies aren’t doing consumers any good (though Big Oil’s profits are doing just fine). House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) may finally be backing off his support for oil giveaways.
It’s not hard to see why Republicans are reconsidering their positions – an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 74% of voters support eliminating tax breaks to oil companies.
So why are Republicans even thinking about doubling down on billions in subsidies for oil companies? Just in the first quarter of 2011, Exxon Mobil gave Cantor $5,000. (And don’t forget that, thanks to the Supreme Court’s pro-corporate Citizens United decision, campaign cash is getting harder & harder to track.)
“It couldn’t be clearer that these companies are the least deserving of taxpayer money and government handouts,” says Navin Nayak of the League of Conservation Voters. “It’s past time for Rep. Cantor whose hands are covered in oil to end his support for this obscene corporate welfare and start standing up for the people of Virginia.”