This week, both senators from Tennessee voted to keep the tax breaks in place for oil. Oil is the least likely candidate for tax expenditures. Petroleum supplies is an oligarchy, dominated by 5 companies. Big oil is turning record profits. Exxon profits were 10.7 billion in the first quarter, up from 6,3 billion in the first quarter last year. Shell reported 6.3 billion and Conoco 3 billion. Who could accuse these Tennessee senators of being serious about balancing a budget ?
Some claim these tax expenditures are for exploration. All these high financial risks that the Five Sistors are taking to supply the rest of us with cheap gasoline. Seriously ! The oil companies know how much oil is left. They have known for decades. They know where the oil is located. They know how hard it is to remove, transport, and refine. America has 2% of known world reserves, yet we use 25% of worldwide petroleum.
What the oil business is good at is buying their way with lawmakers. Exxon budgets 63 billion on lobbying. They are much more successful at political skills than extracting oil from a stubborn and harsh terrain.
There will probably be another “cover” vote from the Republicans this week or soon that will be sold as relief on the oil price and gasoline at the pump. Another oil industry “sweetener” that will fail. Just another “nothing ” vote. What a mess !