of, by, and for the people (of chevron, exxon mobil, et. al.)

the oil and gas industry has spent $367 million over the last two years lobbying congress to pass energy legislation, and it looks like their investment is going to pay off to the tune of $11.5 billion in energy tax credits and incentives. even the white house “…criticized the bill’s tax credits for oil companies at a time when crude is well above $50 a barrel.”
this is why the free market theory is largely fiction. the idea that markets should always be left alone to do what they do best is dubious to begin with, and then in practice, governments get bought off by huge corporations that persuade legislators to interfere in the markets by SUBSIDIZING their businesses. this is a most flagrant and egregious case for a couple of reasons. business has NEVER IN HISTORY been better for the gas and oil industry. they are breaking and breaking again record profits, quarter after quarter. exxon mobil alone is sitting on $30 billion in cash. this is NOT an industry that needs handouts.
and here’s the other problem. if the government were truly functioning to protect OUR interests, the bulk of these incentives would go to the development of alternative energy sources, conservation, and efficiency. as it is, only $4.4 billion is earmarked to these areas.
government’s role in this case should be to encourage research and development into technologies for which there is a demonstrated social good, and to encourage protections for the environment for which there is no economic incentive. our dependence on petroleum is fast becoming a major problem for our society. it is a serious national security risk, and the problem is getting bigger, not smaller. the problem with global warming is the same. bigger, not smaller, not going away. i was at a dinner party last night and someone said that clearing the way to expanded oil exploration in alaska would help solve the problem. i wanted to laugh, but realized that she believed it. hell, the president said it, so it must be true.
our representatives are being bribed into voting to help fund the deeper entrenchment and perpetuation of an energy monopoly that is endangering our country, drawing us into increasing millitary conflicts around the world, and dramatically and permanently altering our environment. the most alarming thing these days is that noone really seems to care. there are just too many distractions, too many entertainments, too many consumer choices diverting our attention. these things just fly past. a smaller and smaller percentage of people i talk to are aware of the decisions made on their behalf, and an even smaller percentage of those folks understand issues beyond a brief one sentence summary drenched in a propoganda-flavored reduction sauce.
the next time you pay your taxes, just remember that a significant portion is going to handouts to some of the wealthiest people on the face of the planet. why? because most people just don’t give a shit.






4 responses to “of, by, and for the people (of chevron, exxon mobil, et. al.)”

  1. Bret Avatar

    Nice one.

    Maybe you should zerox this post and put it on sign posts around the city 😀

  2. miguel Avatar

    And Exxon Mobil even has the nerve to advertise Free Gas cards on this site…

  3. Michelle (halle's beyotch) Avatar

    Eric –

    Excellent points all, I myself hope one day to get completely off the grid! Not only do people not give a shit, but until we’re all willing to take responsibility for part of this problem, nothing will change. Survey after survey shows that less than 10% of us are willing to pay more for an equivalent amount of alternative fuel to put in our cars than the price of a gallon of gas. Only 50% of the people in this country today remember the “oil shock” of the early ’70s when lines at gas stations were insane. We all feel and behave like we have some god-given fucking right to cheap oil and gas – guess what, we don’t so we need to get the fuck over it. I’ve been saying for years that people will not get out of their cars until gas hits $5 a gallon (that’s right Los Angelenos!). I’m praying it happens soon!

  4. gimaha Avatar

    I notice that the exxon mobil ad is gone.

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