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  1. Standard member vivify
    rain
    13 May '15 01:57 / 5 edits
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/us-taxpayers-subsidising-worlds-biggest-fossil-fuel-companies

    Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum got subsidises granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, Guardian investigation reveals

    U.S. taxpayers subsidizing world's biggest fossil fuel companies

    The world’s biggest and most profitable fossil fuel companies are receiving huge and rising subsidies from US taxpayers, a practice slammed as absurd by a presidential candidate given the threat of climate change.

    A Guardian investigation of three specific projects, run by Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum, has revealed that the subsidises were all granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

    The Guardian has found that:

    --- A proposed Shell petrochemical refinery in Pennsylvania is in line for $1.6bn (£1bn) in state subsidy, according to a deal struck in 2012 when the company made an annual profit of $26.8bn.

    --- ExxonMobil’s upgrades to its Baton Rouge refinery in Louisiana are benefitting from $119m of state subsidy, with the support starting in 2011, when the company made a $41bn profit.

    --- A jobs subsidy scheme worth $78m to Marathon Petroleum in Ohio began in 2011, when the company made $2.4bn in profit.

    “At a time when scientists tell us we need to reduce carbon pollution to prevent catastrophic climate change, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies that pad fossil-fuel companies’ already enormous profits,” said senator Bernie Sanders, who announced on 30 April he is running for president.

    Sanders, with representative Keith Ellison, recently proposed an End Polluter Welfare Act, which they say would cut $135bn of US subsidies for fossil fuel companies over the next decade. “Between 2010 and 2014, the oil, coal, gas, utility, and natural resource extraction industries spent $1.8bn on lobbying, much of it in defence of these giveaways,” according to Sanders and Ellison.

    In April, the president of the World Bank called for the subsidies to be scrapped immediately as poorer nations were feeling “the boot of climate change on their neck”. Globally in 2013, the most recent figures available,the coal, oil and gas industries benefited from subsidies of $550bn, four times those given to renewable energy.
  2. 13 May '15 02:17
    Originally posted by vivify
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/us-taxpayers-subsidising-worlds-biggest-fossil-fuel-companies

    Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum got subsidises granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, Guardian investigation reveals

    [b] U.S. taxpayers subsidizing world's biggest foss ...[text shortened]... us profits,” said senator Bernie Sanders, who announced on 30 April he is running for president.
    I would happily agree to see government subsidies of all businesses end. Oil, farming, tobacco, on and on. These things Congress approves for the sake of constituencies such as corn in Iowa, and fossil fuels in other place. Also, cheap energy, relatively speaking is generally beneficial for all businesses, and for their employees, attracting Congressional votes from industrial States.

    There is also the argument that US corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world, and the givebacks encourage exploration and production of oil, natural gas, and coal domestically.

    Since most US taxpayers are also energy users, they probably get back their investment in the energy industries. So I support ending subsidies, but across the board. Government and taxpayers ought to let things alone, and not attempt to manipulate everything.
  3. 13 May '15 05:37
    So if you bribe politicians, they will do things that are beneficial to you. Pretty surprising.
  4. 13 May '15 06:37
    Originally posted by vivify
    Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum got subsidises granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, Guardian investigation reveals.
    Hardly news. This has been going on for a long time and is pretty much well known.
  5. 13 May '15 12:25
    Originally posted by vivify
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/us-taxpayers-subsidising-worlds-biggest-fossil-fuel-companies

    Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum got subsidises granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, Guardian investigation reveals

    [b] U.S. taxpayers subsidizing world's biggest foss ...[text shortened]... d gas industries benefited from subsidies of $550bn, four times those given to renewable energy.
    The U.S. is an oligarchy run by powerful corporations that have global economic interests. While they are identified as U.S. companies, I believe those at the top feel their allegiance is to their corporation not a nation. They have very little interest in whether or not the middle class in the U.S. grows or disappears. They simply want their goods and services to produce the highest level of profits. Buying power and influence is just part of the business model.
  6. 13 May '15 13:24
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    So if you bribe politicians, they will do things that are beneficial to you. Pretty surprising.
    The relevant question is whether this is bribery, or extortion. Both result in payments, but it depends on who initiates the transaction.
  7. 13 May '15 13:31
    Originally posted by Phranny
    The U.S. is an oligarchy run by powerful corporations that have global economic interests. While they are identified as U.S. companies, I believe those at the top feel their allegiance is to their corporation not a nation. They have very little interest in whether or not the middle class in the U.S. grows or disappears. They simply want their goods and ser ...[text shortened]... ce the highest level of profits. Buying power and influence is just part of the business model.
    Despite this dubious argument, the oil companies employ highly paid workers in the US, which also drives wages of others regionally. For example, Walmart in N.Dakota has to compete with oil workers wages and pays $19/hour there. Oil companies aren't all bad, and many of us would suffer without them.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    13 May '15 13:32
    KN gave you the cynical take.

    The non-cynical take is that government subsidizes projects that will benefit the over-all economy by providing jobs and services for its citizens.

    That they contribute to climate change couldn't be less relevant. People are going to use the same amount of fuel whether Exxon makes a profit or not. The way to decrease fuel consumption is to force higher fuel prices or develop affordable alternative sources of energy.
  9. 13 May '15 13:45
    Originally posted by sh76
    KN gave you the cynical take.

    The non-cynical take is that government subsidizes projects that will benefit the over-all economy by providing jobs and services for its citizens.

    That they contribute to climate change couldn't be less relevant. People are going to use the same amount of fuel whether Exxon makes a profit or not. The way to decrease fuel consumption is to force higher fuel prices or develop affordable alternative sources of energy.
    "Providing a job" is not a benefit in and of itself. The government could easily create 10 million jobs by hiring people to wipe their asses, but that isn't going to benefit the economy. Having said that, providing jobs can be beneficial if people performing those jobs find the jobs fulfilling/rewarding.
  10. 13 May '15 13:55
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    "Providing a job" is not a benefit in and of itself. The government could easily create 10 million jobs by hiring people to wipe their asses, but that isn't going to benefit the economy. Having said that, providing jobs can be beneficial if people performing those jobs find the jobs fulfilling/rewarding.
    [b}providing jobs can be beneficial if people performing those jobs find the jobs fulfilling/rewarding.[/b]

    If the jobs don't serve any useful purpose (as in wiping their asses) something no sane employer would pay people to do, it doesn't matter how fulfilling the job is. How fulfilling a job is will vary with individuals. Some actually like boring, repetitive work, while others relish a challenge. The same job isn't fulfilling to all people. Rewarding is another thing, and many choose jobs on the basis of the promised reward (wage).
  11. 13 May '15 15:22
    Originally posted by sh76
    KN gave you the cynical take.

    The non-cynical take is that government subsidizes projects that will benefit the over-all economy by providing jobs and services for its citizens.

    That they contribute to climate change couldn't be less relevant. People are going to use the same amount of fuel whether Exxon makes a profit or not. The way to decrease fuel consumption is to force higher fuel prices or develop affordable alternative sources of energy.
    Wouldn't fuel prices be higher if the government did not subsidize fossil fuels but instead subsidized renewable and safer forms of energy which would open up jobs in that area of commerce? The U.S. government also subsidizes corn which is one reason processed and junk food is so cheap. Why not subsidize organic farmers and those producing fruits and produce that do not need to be processed to be ingested?
  12. 13 May '15 15:27
    Originally posted by normbenign
    [b}providing jobs can be beneficial if people performing those jobs find the jobs fulfilling/rewarding.

    If the jobs don't serve any useful purpose (as in wiping their asses) something no sane employer would pay people to do, it doesn't matter how fulfilling the job is. How fulfilling a job is will vary with individuals. Some actually like boring, r ...[text shortened]... le. Rewarding is another thing, and many choose jobs on the basis of the promised reward (wage).[/b]
    Of course it matters how fulfilling or rewarding a job is. Something that enhances people's enjoyment in life is productive.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    13 May '15 18:35
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    "Providing a job" is not a benefit in and of itself. The government could easily create 10 million jobs by hiring people to wipe their asses, but that isn't going to benefit the economy. Having said that, providing jobs can be beneficial if people performing those jobs find the jobs fulfilling/rewarding.
    John Maynard Keynes would disagree.

    http://modeledbehavior.com/2011/10/31/digging-holes-just-to-fill-them-back-up-again/

    Anyway, jobs with energy production firms are productive in every sense of the word.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    13 May '15 18:36
    Originally posted by Phranny
    Wouldn't fuel prices be higher if the government did not subsidize fossil fuels but instead subsidized renewable and safer forms of energy which would open up jobs in that area of commerce?
    Not necessarily. Paradoxically, if alternative energy were available, that would reduce demand for fossil fuels, potentially decreasing energy prices.
  15. 13 May '15 19:00
    Originally posted by sh76
    Anyway, jobs with energy production firms are productive in every sense of the word.
    Except that they shouldn't need to be subsidised.
    If you are going to subsidize energy production, then subsidize the ones that are best for the country and the world.
    The reason they oil companies get subsidized is because they bribe the politicians.

    And no, the jobs are not created by the subsidies, the profits are created by the subsidies.