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President Obama: “Instead of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, we should be using that money to double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising — investments in wind power and solar power and biofuels; investments in fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and energy-efficient homes and buildings. That’s the future. That’s the only way we’re going to break this cycle of high gas prices that happen year after year after year. As the economy is growing, the only time you start seeing lower gas prices is when the economy is doing badly. That’s not the kind of pattern that we want to be in. We want the economy doing well, and people to be able to afford their energy costs.”
Obama Says Oil Company Profits Justify Ending U.S. Tax Breaks
(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said oil company profits justify abolishing $4 billion in annual oil and natural gas subsidies and shifting those savings to research on clean-energy fuels.
With the Senate scheduled to vote on the matter later today, Obama again urged Congress to repeal the tax breaks. The measure is opposed by Republicans, who have the votes to block the legislation.
“It’s not like these are companies that can’t stand on their own,” Obama said in prepared remarks delivered in the White House Rose Garden.
Republicans today cited a March 3 Congressional Research Service report that found repealing $22.8 billion in tax breaks over five years would reduce the tax breaks for independent companies and, on a small scale, “would make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers and likely increase foreign dependence.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in an e-mailed statement, said Obama’s proposal is a political gambit in an election year and called the plan a “tax hike on American energy manufacturers” that he’d oppose.
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Republican Speaker John Boehner, said today in an e-mail that the president is giving a speech “with gas prices at $3.92 per gallon, calling for policy that would make gas more expensive and increase foreign dependence on oil. You wouldn’t believe it, right? Yet this is happening.”