As American families and businesses continue to struggle with rising energy prices, President Bush, Senator John McCain and Congressional Republicans continue to protect the interests of Big Oil at the expense of real relief for consumers.
Instead of joining Democrats to demand oil and gas companies increase supply by producing on the 68 million federal acres of already leased lands, mandating leasing of new lands in Alaska's petroleum reserve, releasing a small portion of the government oil stockpile, or supporting renewable American energy - Republicans voted no and called for opening our last protected areas to Big Oil. Congressional Republicans have also said no to recouping royalties that Big Oil failed to pay taxpayers and to repealing unnecessary tax breaks for the top five oil companies.
But does the oil and gas industry really need tax breaks and more land?
- Today, BP announced its second quarter profit spiked 28 percent to a whopping $9.47 billion - exceeding analysts' expectations by nearly $2 billion. [AP, 7/29/08; Bloomberg, 7/28/08]
- The company's total profit for the first half of this year is more than $17 billion - just shy of the $20.8 billion BP pulled in profits for all of 2007.
- Last year, BP spent $7.5 billion repurchasing shares company stock - more than thirteen times what the company spent on investments in renewable technologies. [Bloomberg, 7/28/08; information provided by BP to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, 7/2008]