WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in light of exorbitant oil and gas industry profits, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, joined other Members of Congress and leaders of conservation groups Oceana and the Sierra Club in urging the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to end subsidies for the oil industry. Doing so now will help protect vital economic programs for hardworking Americans including Pell grants, Medicare, Social Security, and veterans benefits. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often called "the Supercommittee," is charged with issuing a formal recommendation by November 23, 2011 to reduce U.S. deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.
The five biggest oil companies took in 70 percent more profit this fiscal quarter than they did in the same quarter in 2010, and their earnings for 2011 are projected to go up by 74 percent to $132 billion. At the same time, the oil and gas industry receives an estimated $10 billion in subsidies every year from American taxpayers. While Republicans in Congress have consistently voted to preserve these inappropriate subsidies, Democrats continue to fight to end them.
Today, Congressman Garamendi pointed out that "subsidies are designed to help fledgling industries to grow, and after 95 years, the incredibly profitable oil industry no longer needs these training wheels."
Garamendi continued, "Public policy is about choices -- and this is an easy one to make. Instead of lavishing billions more on billion-dollar oil companies, 'the Supercommittee' should focus on creating jobs and strengthening the middle class."
Congressman Garamendi and House Democrats are advocating for passing of the American Jobs Act and the Make It In America agenda for jobs. Passage of either of these legislative initiatives would add over a million jobs to the economy.