Obama urges Congress to vote for discontinued oil tax subsidies

U.S. President Barack Obama urged Congress to help end government subsidies to oil companies on his weekly address broadcast over radio and internet. According to the President, the outcome of their votes would either mark them as one for the oil firms or for the American consumers.

“They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century or they can place their bets on America’s future,” Obama said.

A good number of Republicans in Congress as well as Industry authorities believe that simply ending the tax breaks might push crude oil prices further up the charts.  Oil companies would have to face higher costs that would adversely affect investments in oil production and exploration ventures.   The President’s early attempts to curtail tax subsidies had been unsuccessful – and at a time when Democrats had the upper hand in Congress.

Presidential candidates from the Republican party laid blame on Obama for postponing oil drilling in the Mexican gulf and in an Alaskan animal refuge.  The same group blamed him for suspending the Keystone XL oil pipeline project covering Canada and refineries in the Texan gulf coast.  Furthermore, they contend that the Environmental Protection Agency has deterred energy improvement efforts.

As gas prices increased further to $3.83, Obama stressed that there is no fast remedy to high prices of gasoline.  He told critics that at present, the country has been producing oil at much higher volumes compared with what has been produced for the past eight years.  He mentioned that the number of working oil rigs alone has more than tripled.  This would lead one to conclude that many were expanding or investing in oil industries during that period.

“If we’re truly going to make sure we’re not at the mercy of spikes in gas prices every year, the answer isn’t just to drill more – because we’re already drilling more,” Obama stated.

He informed that his administration aims to reverse the country’s over-reliance on oil by focusing on developing wind, solar, and biofuel energy sources.

In a weekly forum, Rep. Cory Gardner aired that Colorado residents had been affected by rising pump prices of gas and were “fed up with the way the president is handling this issue, and rightfully so. The most forceful thing the president has done about high gas prices is trying to explain that he’s against them.”

Gardner went on to criticize Obama’s “stimulus spending” complaining that it aided firms that eventually closed, thus throwing taxpayers’ hard-earned money down the drain.

“After spending money we don’t have on what won’t work – and overregulating what would – is it any wonder gas prices have more than doubled on the president’s watch? Make no mistake, high gas prices are a symptom of his failed ‘stimulus’ policies,” Gardner said

Still, the President continues to promote his “all of the above” energy investment strategies and is slated to visit four U.S. states to push his agenda.

By Chris Termeer