Obama Moves Against Oil Subsidies | The Jackal

1 May 2011

Obama Moves Against Oil Subsidies

After many years of complacency concerning climate change, America under the leadership of Barack Obama has finally started to make sounds about changing their behaviour. Far be it from me to be disparaging about such statements as the one the White House sent out today, but after Americas influence has destroyed every agreement under the sun concerning emission reductions, I'm not holding my breath. Until there is evidence to the contrary, I will take whatever they say with a grain of salt.

Whether or not Obama is around after Americas next elections is questionable, being that he has failed to uphold many of his election promises. Most notable to me are his promises to remove the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and to end the wars for oil that have seen thousands of deaths.

There is also the problem America has with their leaders being assassinated when they make moves against entrenched institutions. The fact that Americans are addicted to oil, trying to ween them off a dwindling resource when many are still in denial about climate change could sound the death knell for the Obama administration. However climate change cannot be ignored and good on Obama for having the courage to put his re-election prospects on the line.

These tentative noises sound promising and I for one hope they are not full of hot air. Fingers crossed Obama is going to be around to ensure climate change initiatives are implemented by America to a degree that makes a difference. Here's the email from White House:

The White House - Oil subsidies, gas prices and you

This week, as gas prices hit four dollars a gallon, oil companies like ExxonMobil announced skyrocketing profits -- while still receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.

There's something wrong with this picture, and in this video President Obama outlines the steps we're taking to make it right:

A few weeks ago, I emailed you about rising gas prices, and I want to give you a quick update on three important steps:

    •    Ending oil and gas subsidies. Oil companies are receiving $4 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies that don't make sense and that we can't afford. That's why President Obama has called on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to stop subsidizing the oil and gas industry so that we can afford to invest in the clean energy economy of tomorrow.

    •    Stopping oil market fraud. Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a working group focused on rooting out the cases of fraud in the oil markets that might affect gas prices (the President discussed this in his Weekly Address last Saturday).

    •    Reducing our dependence on oil. Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, President Obama recently unveiled his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future that set a goal of reducing our imports of foreign oil by a third in a little over a decade. To do this we have to increase our domestic energy production, reduce our demand for oil by building cleaner, more efficient vehicles, and fully utilize alternatives to oil in the transportation sector like natural gas and advanced biofuels.

These are difficult issues to tackle, and it's going to take all of us working together to move forward. For years, politicians in Washington have kicked this problem down the road, but we simply cannot afford the price of inaction any longer.


David Plouffe

Senior Advisor to the President