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· April 27, 2011

Conservatives and Big Oil: A Love Affair?

How far will Conservatives go to give to the oil industry, while taking away from the working class? As we continue to learn, pretty damn far. In the face of severe budget shortfalls, and while calling for drastic cuts in spending programs, certain far-right members of Congress continue to champion subsidies for the obscenely-profitable oil industry. As ThinkProgress reports, even House GOP leader and Ohio Rep. John Boehner, had to correct himself after expressing openness to eliminating $1 billion a year in oil subsidies, at the same time the industry reports record profits.
Ohio legislators appear to be under the spell of big petroleum themselves. When Governor Kasich sent his two-year transportation budget to the Ohio House of Representatives, members added a provision giving the petroleum industry in Ohio a brand new tax break worth millions of dollars, at the same time they approved drastic cuts to public transportation, in the face of budget constraints. Even facing the strong opposition of groups with whom they are typically in ideological lockstep – including the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the Ohio Society of CPAs and the Ohio State Medical Association – Republican members of the Ohio House and Senate voted along party lines to send the tax break to the Governor, who happily signed the measure. If this is fiscal responsibility, we’ll pass, thank you.

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