This bill invests in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency by repealing billions in subsidies given to big oil companies that are raking in record profits. Specifically, the measure ensures oil companies that were awarded the 1998 and 1999 leases for drilling paid their fair share in royalties. It also closes loopholes and ends giveaways in the tax code for Big Oil. Finally, the bill creates a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve to invest in clean, renewable energy resources, promoting new emerging technologies, developing greater efficiency and improving energy conservation.
Over the last several years, profits and subsidies for Big Oil have climbed, as has our dependence on foreign oil. In 2006, the big five oil companies made $97 billion - nearly five times their profits in 2002. Gas prices at the pump also topped $3 per gallon.
The U.S. now has a record dependence on foreign oil, which has climbed to 65 percent.
The U.S. is sending about $800 million per day to the Middle East and other oil producing countries.
Reducing our dependence on foreign oil is critical to bolstering our national security and creating good-paying new jobs. American farms abound with crops that can be used to fuel our cars and trucks - from corn to soybeans to switchgrass. In 2005, the ethanol industry supported the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in all sectors of the U.S. economy, boosting U.S. household income by $5.7 billion. [Report for the Renewable Fuels Association]
The President's budget funds renewable energy and energy efficiency at below the 2001 level, in real terms, and provides nearly 50 percent less for research on renewable energy than was promised in the energy law.
There is broad bipartisan support for ending the addiction to oil by investing in clean renewable fuels. 52% of the American public said the U.S. government should invest in alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on foreign oil. [LAT/Bloomberg poll, 8/3/06]