American Morning

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May 12th, 2011
06:02 AM ET

Will cutting subsidies to big oil lower the price of gas?

Gas prices are hovering around $4 across the country today, while oil company executives are in Washington getting grilled over tax breaks.

Senate Democrats opened debate Wednesday on legislation to cut $21 billion in tax subsidies from big oil companies and use the money to reduce the federal debt. The bill targets the five biggest oil companies: ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP and Chevron. The chief executive officers of those companies - which have reported large profits - have been summoned to testify before a Democratic-controlled Senate committee Thursday.

AM asks you, do you believe cutting subsidies to big oil will lower the price of gas? We may choose your response to read on air. And, stay tuned into American Morning, we'll talk to Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard at 7:45a ET.

Filed under: AM Asks • Energy
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Big oil can do whatever it wants when ever it wants to do it, they have proven that over and over. Even in the midst of a slow economic recovery, they chose to raise gas prices, and their profits, to record highs. This is exactly why the Government needs to consider a Government Co-op energy program. Put Americans to work in the energy markets, but instead of profits going to a few "Fat Cats" the price of fuel will come down and the profits will end up in the pockets of the American tax payer.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  2. dominick b

    why should they get subs, when they spill oil they don't clean it up, or they keep lawsuites on going, how many people in the gulf have been helped, subs or no subs they'll still keep prices high, they'll make up some new woe that caused them to hike the price,

    May 12, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  3. Juliett

    Lower gas prices? No Way! The Big Oil companies will just use the loss of tax breaks as an excuse to punish the taxpayers more then they already have by greedily raising gas prices even more. After all, 30 billion in profits isn't enough for them to relieve the taxpayer of this price gouging at the pumps.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  4. Cathie

    No subsidy should be open ended. It is time to end it for big oil. Shift subsidies to R and D in green energy companies, and again these should not be open ended either.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  5. Brian Stout

    Removal of large tax subsidies to the oil and gas companies will do nothing for the price of gas other than force the companies to try to pass the cost on the the consumers. That's not the point. The point is it is outragous that we are subsidizing the most profitable companies in America and in return they are cheating by declaring royalties as foreign taxes. Some loyalty to America! Have the same concern over subsidizing American farmers not to grow crops needed to feed the world. Removing these subsidies is a start in the right direction!

    May 12, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  6. Name*LJRomaguera

    While the wihdrawal of tax incentatives may or may not lower the price of gas is irrevelant. It is long past due and will aid in cutting the federal deficit instead of the Repubicans plan to cut aid to the poor, elderly and handicapped via cuts in Medicare and Medicaide! These cuts are LONG overdue. You want to lower gas prices, build more refineries. It matters not how much oil is coming in to the U.S. it the raw product cannot be refined into the various oil products (ie. gasoline, motor oil, additives need in making numerous orther petroleum dependent products) cannot be processed via refineries.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  7. StevenCee

    This a completely ridiculous question! The subsidies given these oil companies have zero to do with the price of gas, why would cutting them lower the price of gas?
    The point of ending them is simply to stop billions of our tax dollars, as a "government handout/welfare" to those who have absolutely no reason to receive them!

    In fact, we need to cut all the tax loopholes, deductions, & credits big oil has bought , so the $30 Billion/year the industry earns is taxed at least a little bit, for them to pay zero is hardly "sharing the sacrifice" we're ALL supposed to be making....

    May 12, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  8. Larry Glickman

    Last week "Big Oil" said they make "2 cents on every gallon of gas sold, that no typo-2 cents". Yesterday a spokesman for the API said "big oil" makes 5.5 cents on every gallon sold. First of all, who believes that? With US demand dropping because of gas prices, why are profits increasing? Why does EVERY other industry try to hold prices in check, yet every blip in the oil futures market translates into an immediate increase at the pump? When oil fell below $100 a barrel, did the price drop at the pump significantly AND immediately? The profits the oil companies are reporting seem to be directly related to the price of oil, the price they can gouge the drivers at the pump.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  9. Ben Hayden

    Cutting oil subsidies will not effect prices. The Bush era allowed oil companies to become one big monopoly so they can fix prices. Oil already gets all the deductions that other companies get. They don't need more. Let them do their exploration with their own profits like all other companies do.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  10. Don

    the old saying "you get what you pay for", well, the oil companies must pay congress real well in order to get these big tax breaks...and if you add the cost of these tax breaks into the cost of oil at the pump, isn't that the true cost of gas...

    May 12, 2011 at 8:31 am |
  11. Scott G.

    Let's stop making it sound as if the oil companies are the only issue here. We need to start renegotiating with countries around the world. Let's start tying our financial aid to oil costs–then watch how fast things change.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:31 am |
  12. Brian

    None. They need to look at how providing billions to Brazil to drill for oil then purchase back as best customer benefits prices, jobs, economy...drill on and offshore. Independence. Electric cars are coal powered vehicles. We will never be rid of petroleum needs in World. If we want to compete with China, drill..drill...drill...

    May 12, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  13. Emory Speir

    Why is "Big Oil" getting tax incentives anyway. Imposing higher taxes may not reduce the price of a gallon of gas, but it will sure provide additional revenue to the government to reduce the deficit.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:28 am |
  14. Ted

    The price of gas in America is being controlled by big oil and speculators. The rich get richer and the poor poorer and our lawmakers just turn their heads. It time for a change in the White House and Congress. What do we have to lose!!

    May 12, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  15. Jackie Bexell

    Didn't Exxon Mobil make $19 billion in profits in 2009, yet paid no money in income taxes? Also, ConocoPhillips, made $16 billion in profits from 2006 through 2009, yet paid no taxes, they actually received a rebate from the government through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction. The oil and gas manufacturing deduction was enacted in 2004 or 2005. When this deduction was given to the oil companies gas prices didn't go down, so how could taking away this deduction suddenly make gas prices go up?

    May 12, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  16. Robert G

    Cutting subsidies will do nothing except raise the cost of gas. But if the cut in subsidies is combined with opening all US land to oil drilling, forever, that would lower gas prices.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  17. Man Vs Yard

    I live in Houston Texas where we cut school funds to improve education. So, if we cut subsidies to BIG OIL it will only improve the companies. All companies get this tax break to do business here? Does that work? I thought that we have just experienced a HUGE exodus of companies and jobs to foriegn shores. Lets cut this for them ALL.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  18. Guy Sutton

    Howdy! As for the big subsidies, it is my understand that it is an actual 'tax break' not that the people of the USA is footing a bill of sorts. Many companies and entities have breaks, so, the oil companies are getting theirs too. We need to invest, buy stock, not slam them as they are making money. Your story yesterday about how the help MANY organizations, teachers, police, etc. Hey, I hate paying $4.51 a gallon too, but it is a swing we are used too, let's move on. Guy Sutton, Shingletown CA

    May 12, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  19. Name*Bob Walton

    Nobody is proposing this as a way to lower gas prices so why ask, CNN? A more interesting question would be, why have these subsidies been continued for so long if the deficit is that important, no?

    May 12, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  20. Robert Perry

    How would cutting subsidies (increasing the companies cost) decrease the cost of gas? The question you pose doesn't even make sense. I am going to instead answer if we should take away there subsidies our of a sense of revenge for feeling pain at the pump. Absolutely!!! While we were one the subject, CNN played some painful commercials after I saw this question, I think any subsidies we pay CNN in the form of deductions for example the purchase of office equipment should be taken away as well. While, we are at it, my neighbor has a nicer house than me. Sure, it pulls up the failure of my house, but I'm still bitter about it. Why should I subsidize my neighbor buying a nicer house than mine by letting him deduct his mortgage interest.

    When I thought we were talking about industry specific subsidies I was all for taking them away. But, the only industry specific thing I can find is a discussion of how quickly oil companies can write down the values of assets. The bit of CNN I watched this morning does not seem to be denying that the subsidies are not industry targeted subsidies. So, we just wanna target them right? Have I gotten lost somewhere?

    BTW Wiki "US Oil Reserves", "Oil Reservers", and "Peak Oil". Consider all of this along with the explosive growth in China and India. Then try to predict what we are going to what to do to these oil companies for the pain we feel at the pump 2020 or 2025. (maybe 2015)

    If you think our society can survive all that without switching energy sources fast watch watch the movie "Money As Debt" and consider that the cheap energy source of oil has feed the exponential growth our existing finical system demands for almost a century now.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  21. Don

    Are you joking? These oil companies raise the price at the pump at the sound of a burp, it's like a big game to them...These billion dollars tax breaks for all Corporate American needs to stop, now...they'll say anything and only worry about themselves and there share holder bottom line, after all that's the way the system that they paid for works... just do it without our tax dollars...this country is broke and i mean the (tax payers) and yet the larger companies make record profits...lets try something new, raise taxes on them when they take jobs and leave American and and then bring there products back into the USA to sell...we they taxpayers are sick of this corporate welfare...

    May 12, 2011 at 8:18 am |
  22. Bill Hawkins

    Cutting subsidies to big oil is not about cutting the price of gas at the pump, It is about cutting the debit. Why not ask the real question? Do you think that I should give my tax dollars to companies that are making record profits? To that question I clearly answer NO!

    May 12, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  23. Mark

    No. Whether we pays at the pump or in an increasing federal deficit ... we pay.

    Oil companies are not accountable to the American public ... they are accountable to their shareholders. There is a return on investment expectation and taxes are only a component of that calculation. The dollar amount of profit is irrelevant ... news and political fodder ... it's the percentage profit margin the dollar amount represents that's relevant.

    If you or Washington want to report "greed" or "profiteering" how do Oil profit percentages compares to other industries or industry leading firms ... how does Exxon compare to Wal-mart, Ford, Microsoft, etc?

    May 12, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  24. Greg D. Lubow

    In high school we learned that profit is what is left over after all expenses are paid. When gas prices neared $2 a gallon several years ago, Big Oil told us it was a refinery capacity problem; demand declined and they backed off a little; when prices rose to $3 a gallon, they said it was a supply and demand issue – demand too high; demand declined and prices dropped a little; now, with prices at $4 a gallon they initially said it had nothing to do with supply (we had plenty) or demand (it was in the middle of the winter) but was caused by commodity speculators. What will they say today? How many different stories must we hear – profit comes from either decreased supply, increased demand or simply price increases. My bet is on price increases. So now they are reminding us, in expensive ads (the cost of which they deduct from taxes – we pay again for their propaganda) that they are American companies, they we are all invested in them and they provide jobs.
    Want to jumpstart the American economy: drop gas prices to $1.50 a gallon, and put all that $30 billion in profits back into the American consumer's pocket, and watch them spend our economy to health.

    "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."
    John Maynard Keynes

    May 12, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  25. Lou

    I dont believe the Oil companies need any type of tax break. They are
    making and insane amount of money.They also out source jobs to
    other countries and americans are out of a job for that reason. If the oil prices go down remains to be seen.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  26. Man Vs Yard

    Don't mess with BIG OIL. Remember the economic collapse? Who was in front of congress answering why prices had hit $4.00. Oil execs!
    Who is now making billions as the rest of us are choaking AGAIN on $4.00 oil. Will the prices decrease. Sure they will. Repeat until we believe it.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  27. Bryon

    I don't think removing the subsidies will have much of an impact on the price of gas at the pump. I do think, however, that the oil companies have made such a windfall from artificially inflated oil prices that any gov't subsidies should cease as a matter of principle. What really should be investigated is why these prices are allowed to be manipulated by speculators. If we get rid of these artificial influences and let the laws of supply and demand prevail, I believe we would see a significant reduction in the price of gas.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  28. Don Evans

    Hi CNN

    I really don't think that Americans should be afraid of the scare tactics of increase cost of gas at the pump due to taxing the oil companies. Oil company's will bleed Americans no matter what happens. They will occasionally dip prices but in the long run it will still hurt. As to increase in oil company taxes it will certainly help reduce the national debt.

    Thanks for listening

    May 12, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  29. ANNA


    May 12, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  30. Bill Hollinshead

    Equitable treatment please! If the oil companies were to pay the same effective tax rate I also will pay, I believe I would have incrementally more money to pay for their product's higher prices. And I believe these effective tax rates should be based upon earnings alone, without taxpayers having the ability to depreciate or deduct anything (including both mortgage interest and research costs).

    May 12, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  31. Calvin Roach

    Eliminating tax breaks to the big oil company may not lower gas prices but the monies can go toward lowering our national debt and improving our education system. Tax breaks should only go toward companies and people that needs it. For companies that profits $10M /yr or more do not need tax breaks. The limit should be $250,000/yr for individuals.


    May 12, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  32. Ernie

    No. The biggest losers will be the consumers. The oil companies will just simply pass on the cost to us. That would mean an increase in the cost of gasoline.Villifying the oil companies is just a government dog and pony show. Increasing the resources for drilling and producing oil here in the USA and eliminating our dependence on foreign oil would be a better way to go.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  33. Efrain Omar

    Every time a new product is introduce to the market the price of the product is high due to low demand and lack of technology to make it cheaper; after a while demand increases, new technology is introduce which make's the product manufacturing profitable and affordable for the consumer. In the oil industry the opposite occurs; more demand, better manufacturing technology and higher prices for the product. Get real, they do not need subsidies.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  34. Man Vs Yard

    No! Gas prices are controlled by speculation and market manipulation. Nothing will lower gas prices! This is just another ruse to make the public think that we should have tiny bit of hope. We constantly hear that tankers and oil reserves are full but when the Mississippi floods, prices spike due to supply concerns. I guess if the media says it over and over, we will believe it.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  35. Thomas Gagg

    ExxonMobil is now reporting that for its retail gasoline operations in the U.S., it made an average profit of 7 cents per gallon during the first quarter of 2011. On that same gallon of gas in New Jersey, where Sen. Menendez reigns, government taxes add 64 cents to the cost of each gallon. That's right, the folks who find it, recover it, refine it, and transport it make 7 cents on a gallon. Government – the peopke who do NOTHING to provide the product take more than NINE TIMES as great a cut.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  36. Tony from MI.


    Frist, we need to stop giving away 21 billion of our tax dollars to companies that have the audacity to report that they make 125 + billion dollars in profits. Gas prices went up almost .30 cents yesterday alone, we haven't seen less than $4.00 a gallon in months. The "welfare state" way of doing business has to come to an end, times have changed and the old way of doing business is killing us as a nation.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  37. Name*John

    The oil company's representitive delivered a masterpiece of ambguity. Profit is profit after all expenses are paid. I don't believe the greedy oil companies will lower the price of oil, but maybe it will be a wake up call to start living in the real world. There is nothing worse than the taxpayers giving greedy oil execs obsene bonuses

    May 12, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  38. Adam

    Firstly, this is not really a subsidy in the traditional sense. The government is allowing these businesses to take certain tax deductions based on the nature of their business. We are not paying taxes that subsequently are paid to these companies.

    Secondly, gas prices are high. It seems like every time something "bad" happens for oil distribution and production, the price of a barrel spikes due to concern over what this may do to future production capacity or access. If you think gas prices are high now, give speculators an opportunity to raise the market price of a barrel, and I can guarantee you they will run with it. We will be paying more at the pump in a very short time if we take away these deductions even though they will not directly effect the company immediately.

    Finally, why are oil companies so evil? They do a number of things that negatively impact the environment, I agree. What about farmers? They get subsidies from the government. They use a number of environmentally harmful practices. Food prices are rising dramatically lately. Why are we so short sighted as to pick on one industry ignoring all others?

    May 12, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  39. Stephen Jackson

    Oil subsidy
    President Obama asserted that the federal oil subsidies should be cut. This takes my breath away. He has made up another phrase to trick people and create class conflict.

    There are no oil subsidies. He is talking about oil depletion allowances. The federal government is not giving oil companies a grant or payments like they do to support wind and solar energy. They are allowing a tax deduction. They should be reporting the amount of taxes they would be taking with and without the oil depletion allowance and what would happen to the price of gasoline and other consumer products if it were changed. We may find out that the federal government would actually receive more tax money with the oil depletion allowance and there may be more oil, jobs, and lower cost to the consumer.

    We will not know the truth of the matter with the fabrication of language by the President and the willingness of the media to use his phrases instead of the correct language.


    Stephen Jackson

    May 12, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  40. Ed

    A better question is

    "Will giving citizens the money now gifted to the oil companies be a more beneficial way of handling increasing consumer energy costs?

    May 12, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  41. Jani

    If the oil companies will not lower prices then the U.S. should consider making a resolution that all gas pumps be shut down one day a week. We need to somehow hit the oil companies in the pocket book like they are doind to us consumers.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  42. Yuri

    Oil Companies behave as bullies. While of course they're in the business to make profits; even ridiculously high profits, but if "we" don't let them do as they please, they stick it to us at the pump. Simple math: A profit of $123b, then to have $2.1b in tax breaks closed, leaves them with a paltry $120.9b. Why that is not enough to continue exploration and to provide better prices at the pump is beyond comprehension.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  43. VAFred

    Are they kidding us? Why should a business that is making record profits off of the American people need subsidies from the American people? Will cutting the subsidies raise gas prices? Probably, because they are businessmen and profiteers! They are trying to make it look like it is a burden for them to go out and find oil...isn't that part of the cost of being in the oil business? Do they think that we believe they won't go out and look for oil if they don't get the subsidies? That they won't settle for the billions of dollars of profit they'd make without the subsidies? I don't think ANY company should get taxpayer money to do business with taxpayers. In a sense, we taxpayers are being charged twice! Is this the charge to the taxpayer for the "privilege" of doing business with these companies? What ever happened to this country? Part of being in business is remaining competitive. If your company cannot be competitive and make a profit, you shouldn't be in business!

    May 12, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  44. Carl

    I think cutting big oil tax subsidies or 2 billion dollars a year won't necessarily bring down the price of gas but, it definitely will help bring down the deficit. The big oil companies are making too much money from the american consumers. We at the pump are getting ripped off because of the greed in america for more money at any cost put to the american consumer. Actually, I believe we should penalize the oil companies involved in this rip off. We definitely need another source of energy and we need it sooner than later. I don't know why we can't have hydrogen powered cars since we have the technology available now. What is the reason why we can't have a hydrogen infrastructure in america along side the gas station pumps?

    May 12, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  45. Jon R. Wallace

    Cutting oil subsidies will only raise prices at the pump unnecessarily. Rather how about equalizing the tax law so that more than 33% of US corporations actually pay federal taxes at the end of the year? How about giving tax breaks to employers only for job creation? If we're going to cut oil subsidies, how about subsidies for cotton? It's easy to pick on the oil companies, but I doubt earning a $123 billion profit instead of $125 billion has any major impact. It still needs to be applied equally across corporations. After all, if we don't fix the tax inequality and deficit, the education problems that leave us 14th globally, profits will be the least of our problems.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  46. RT

    The gas racket is a travesty. Americans are getting raped while investors and oil execs rake in the cash.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  47. cstonaha

    I'm not sure I understand how eliminating tax subsidies to oil companies helps anyone except to give congress more money to spend. All businesses have margins that they need to make. I believe that in the oil industry, their margins are typically around 8%. Reducing tax incentives will increase costs, since they are shooting for a specific profit percentage regardless, that money will have to come from somewhere and that source of revenue will be gas prices. Instead of targeting successful industries in the US, fix tax issues by re-writing the tax code. This senator needs to stop grand-standing and start thinking big picture.

    May 12, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  48. MSC

    Why should oil an oil company give up a tax break that others like Google are able to take advantage of? Because they make money? Can we see a pie chart on what % of the dollars we pay on a gallon of gas go to taxes, oil company profits, production and dividends?

    May 12, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  49. Charles Payne

    No, reducing subsidies will not lower gasoline prices. What will lower prices immediately is the President telling the oil producers to start drilling and open back up the deep well off shore areas.
    If the breaks are removed all the oil companies will do is pas their additional costs on to us, the buyers of gasoline. If he puts in price controls the pricing will still go up as crude costs do. This I saw in 1973 during the first embargo and later in 1979.
    What will also reduce pricing is for our LEADERS?? to get some spine and develop a reasonable and effective energy policy with a sensible plan toward self sufficiency.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  50. Mike Whitney

    Am I missing something...if oil company tax credits & deductions are removed the cost consequences will be passed on to consumers.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  51. Terry Wynn

    If the government is serious about lowering the cost of gas then stop futures trading on wall street. Too simple!!

    May 12, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  52. StephenBranco

    There's all this talk about oil profits. First of all profit to me, means; after all your operational costs are paid what you have left is profit. How do the oil companies define profit?

    May 12, 2011 at 7:55 am |
  53. Debra Lacey

    Subsidies to oil companies are good for oil companies, period. I, for one, do not want my tax dollars used to subsidize these huge profit-generating regimes. This was underscored by the discussion this morning on CNN.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  54. Spock

    I watched your guest dance around answering the issue of cost of how gas prices would be affected on the elimination of subsidies. Pathetic... Obvoiusly the retention of this deduction is more important than doing the right thing for the country. The bottom line is they are a bloated industry, not will to be lean and mean in the production of fuel. There is always some company who can perform better, let them go out of business.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  55. Doug

    It seems to me that the purpose of the tax break for manufacturing was to encourage companies to create jobs in the US. If US oil companies are trying to argue that they need these tax breaks, explain to me how you could possibly ship jobs in the production of domestic oil overseas?

    May 12, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  56. Don Keely

    It does not matter. They always do what they want. But, those billions of tax dollars can be better spent on our debt. The have more lobbist in Washington than anybody.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  57. J. Shreeni

    the question from Ali was "What is the impact of cutting subsidies to oil companies on gas prices and employment?" the president from API just didnot answer that. I am not sure why you let him get away with that...

    for a change, lets see if cutting subsidies does impact gas prices...even with subsidies, I am paying $4.50 here in california anyways...

    May 12, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  58. George Conaway

    absolutely not...... the prices will go higher....remember the higher the price the more income the states and Federal gov't makes on taxes...

    May 12, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  59. JMBarrett, North Providence RI

    The oil companies hit us at the pump, and they hit us in our tax burden. These subsidies, regardless of what company or industry they are given, are absolutely ludicrous. End them across the board for companies making big profits. Stop raping the American worker's paycheck.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  60. Bill

    Here's what's unAmerican: Oil companies demanding subsidies so they won't send jobs overseas. How is that not a shakedown?

    May 12, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  61. Capt. Danger

    These are the same people who claim providing health care is socialistic, that the free market should provide, then let the free market apply to them!

    May 12, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  62. Ireporttwo

    That big oil guy was lying through his teeth. You think the CEO of a company would say anything different?

    May 12, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  63. R. Hughes

    Gas prices have nothing to do with supply of oil, of which we have an abundance. Subsidies to oil companies should be stopped.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  64. LO

    Typical Democrats going after the wrong thing. Anyone who believes that this action will not result in higher prices is living in a dream world – oh that describes a Democrat doesn't it? The questions we need to be asking is why does congress not have to have the same medical and social security as the normal USA citizen? We could eliminate all the perks they get and that would be a great start. Quite bailing out corporations that should have never had to be bailed out. Wake up Democrats in Congress. Your days are limited.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  65. Monty Gaither

    While cutting these unnecessary subsidies will not lower the cost of gas, but it shouldn't raise the cost of the gas. They higher the cost of gas, the less gas we use and the more likely we are to support research into alternatives to gasoline.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  66. Henry

    I am very happy you finally asked this. Big oil will try to pass on the increased costs imposed by actually paying taxes to the consumer but with increased prices, demand will decrease and there should be surplus, so natural market pressures should keep the prices in check. We already seeing price gouging at every street corner that goes unchecked, so there is nothing new here. More importantly is the insult to the individual tax payor that oil companies post billions in profits but don't pay income taxes. Perhaps if big business paid its fair share of taxes, the US Gov't would decrease the pressure off the backs of individuals. the US Constitution does not say "We the largest 50 corporations". If you sell oil and gas in America you should pay income taxes on the profits just like an individual. The US should not give tax subsidies or offer ANY deductions to oil companies with two exceptions. (1) A deduction as an expense for either donations to unrelated entities researching non-fossil fuel methods of powering vehicles, trucks, buses, rail and factories that produce our everyday products would bring us closer to ending dependance on fossil fuels and having to become involved in mid-east disputes. (2) A deduction to charities like cancer cure research would benefit everyday people and with the added donations by large oil companies, may accelerate a break in the cure for cancer. Saying the profits earned by oil companies like Exxon/Mobil belong to the big executives or the stockholders. is like saying that profits from selling Saudi Oil belong only to the King's family. The people are being denied their rightful share of the benefits. Profits from natural resources pulled from the Earth and any benefit derived from such profits should be passed onto human beings to improve our way of life.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  67. Mark Church

    What will lower gas prices is to require all oil speculators, except actual end users, to put up 50% of the cash on hedges. Oil speculators are making huge profits. This adds directly to the price of oil. Stop oil speculation and prices will fall immediately. Speculators are making huge profits on the backs of all Americans and slowing the recovery. I do not understand why no one is talking about this.

    But, yes, end the tax breaks as well. They do not need them and the treasury does.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  68. Paul

    The rest of the world outside of oil producing countries pay near twice what we do at the pumps, I think the reason for that is subsides so yeah without them I think gas prices will go up.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  69. eli

    'Cutting the subsidies will probably not lower prices at the pump, but the oil companies will not be getting money on both ends. Their greed is not going to be stopped. The only thing that is to put caps on how much they can increase the price of gas just like there are caps on how much they can raise the price of steel.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  70. Charles

    Gas prices at the pump have little to with oil companies, but with market speculators regardless of supply and demand. But they obviously reap the benefits without reinvesting equally in alternative energy. They simply don't care! And we the public taxpayers have no protection from our government representatives whose campaigns are funded heavily by Big Oil and wall street. Today's charade will be much ado without substance. Just another campaign photo op!

    May 12, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  71. Terry Wynn

    I do not believe that this government will act on anything the oil companies do the people when they continue to receive millions of dollars

    May 12, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  72. Mary

    I don't know enough of the subject to say one way or the other. Maybe that is what's missing in this conversation – informing the average person who normally does not pay attention to topics of this nature and then maybe more people actually will. What I can say is something does need to be done to reduce the price I currently pay at the pump AND prevent increases from occuring in the future. Doing something has to be better than doing nothing.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  73. Bill Johnson

    Whether it lowers the price of gas is immaterial. The oil companies will continue to take advantage of the consumer as long as congress allows it and a case could be made that congress is complicit with the extraordinary amount of oil money sloshing around DC. The oil companies need a wake up call, they really need to get with program..and that program is that you paddle your own canoe.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  74. C Watters

    I doubt that it will lower the price of oil, but maybe it will reduce the amount of money they have to spent on lobbyists. Lobbyists persuade legislation in their favor instead of the consumer.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  75. Cathy

    It is time to stop all of the subsidies to people who don't need it. I am not talking about the poor, or the homeless, I am talking about Gas company executives who try to convince us that they need help from the government. You need 21Billion ...for what was that again? And Pakistan, what!!! they need another 11 billion, and so it goes. It is time to stop these gross handouts to corporations and countries who slap us in the face. Nothing will stop the rise in gas prices except government regulation. No more tax breaks for oil.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  76. Ricky Parker

    We should eliminate all tax breaks for ALL oil companies, it does not matter how much of a tax break we give them they will not pass on any savings to the public. As a former employee of an oil company, all they care about is profit not people or the health of our economy. I will give an example, when someone is killed at work it’s considered an incident, when equipment is damaged and production is cut it’s an accident. Profit is more important ant people!

    May 12, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  77. Matt

    Cutting subsidies won't do any real good, what needs to happen is the oil companies need to be charged for back taxes, with the caveats that they cannot raise prices to pay the taxes (in fact, they should be required to cut prices to a flat $2 per gallon for the next 10 years), nor can they downsize the companies to cut costs. In addition, the CEOs, Boards of Directors, and all of the upper echelons of the oil companies should be barred from making any additional money from their positions until they can find a way to lower gas prices, and keep them low, they should also be locked into their existing positions until they do this. These people make the late oil baron John D. Rockefeller look like a sainted altar boy, and we all know he was anything but. They make the greediest men in history look philanthropic, and they have more power than the US government. This has to come to an end, they have too much power and influence.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  78. Liz in Alabama

    Anyone who has raised a child (or a dog) knows that if you reward bad behavior, you only get more bad behavior. It is foolish to subsidize poor performance...let them suffer the consequences of their own mismanagement and greed for a while. You need my tax dollars to keep afloat in the face of record profits? I don't think so.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  79. C. Reda

    No, it won't but we should do it anyway. They should use their own profits for research and development not pass that on to the consumer in subsidies so they never have to do anything but pocket the profits. We have been taken advantage of for long enough by major corporations and financial institutions. There is no such thing as reasonable profits anymore. It's as much as they can grab. And the excuse that this kind of greed is at the behest of the stockholder is just another way to justify their greed. The consumer pays and pays and pays. Unless, of course, you're very wealthy.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  80. John Hench

    Simply put, NO. In the past we have seen these corporate giants owe more allegiance to their shareholders and profits than to anything else .They willsimply raise prices in order to make up for the lost subsidies. But we should still end this and many other forms of corporate welfare.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  81. MichaelO

    Why should we be held hostage to big (pay us or else) oil Company's take it all away and how about removing or regulating oil from the commodity markets and then watch how low gas prices will go.

    The greedy get richer and the poorer get poorer

    May 12, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  82. Cristy Curan

    Its obvious the oil companies don't need a tax break, WE do!!, we need a break with the high prices, I remember whe I used to fill my tank with $.20.00 now those same $.20.00 doesnt even give me a quater!! and the oil execs. are getting richer and richer , cant belive the goverment isnt doing anything about, remember when we used to blame Mr. Bush, who do we blame now?? have anyone seing those comercial the oil com. have place on tv?? its sickening!! they don't help my economy, enough is enough

    May 12, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  83. Frankie

    That's not the point at all. The point is the overall picture of all people, including the middle class, having a better life in America if the budget were adjusted fairly.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  84. Ann

    Tax breaks fuel exploration domestically. When will people get the fact that only domestic production will relieve our reliance on foreign oil and THAT is what drives up oil prices. Want to create jobs? Revive the industry!

    May 12, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  85. David G

    No! They will simply raise the prices to replace the subsidies. The Oil companies are all about stock values and stockholders.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  86. Turley Haues

    He'll no it won't. They will only pass on the value of the subsidies to the customer.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  87. dee hamilton

    it will not lower gas price but maybe it will cut down on the money spent on lawmakers who defend them.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  88. ap

    If we raise taxes on any business, will it's product become cheaper??? Sheer foolishness.
    Business with bad model fail and get tax funded bailouts. Businesses with good models are threatened with punative taxes. Democracy at it's worst.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  89. Vito

    Yes, but these big oil companies will not do it, because of one
    reason. Their don't care about the American public, all they see
    is money. These companies are all profiteers.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  90. Renea Henderson

    Want to know who to blame for ALL of the economic problems in this country? Forget the Democrats and Republicans! Think Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP, and Conoco. The first recession in 2008 started with the greed of these fat cats. The problems that are still plaguing us and getting worse again is directly attributable to oil companies. I'm no economist, but even I can see that when a family has to pay this much for fuel, they can purchase other things like clothing, food, or even shelter (the basic necessities). When those things aren't purchased, then everyday people lose their everyday jobs. Without those paychecks, there are fewer tax dollars in the government coffers, and then people like teachers, police officers, firemen, and other government employee, start to face layoffs. This only makes the situation worse. It all starts with the root problem: greed on the part of BIG OIL!

    May 12, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  91. james

    No this will not cause the price of gas to go down. The government is essentially taking away 21 billion dollars from these companies, and corporations always pass the cost onto the consumer. They should threaten to cut these subsides if prices do not go down while they, the big oil corporations, are making record profits.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:57 am |
  92. Ann

    We don't know if prices will go down by eliminating subsidies, but we do know that giving subsidies hasn't worked. We should not be paying these companies to overcharge us at the pumps. That money could be better used somewhere else, like helping the people who can't afford the gas to go to work! We should be giving money to those who actually need it.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  93. Steph

    If you want oil to go down allow them to produce all the oil they want, then you will have a better chance at lowering costs through supply and demand. Second help the budget cut all subsidies off except for very very small farmers. We should not subsidize any business if we want a true capitalism.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  94. John Jones

    I seriously doubt that cutting subsidies for oil companies will lower gas prices as it will not lower their level of greed. It may however lower the national debt if the saved funds were applied towards it.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  95. Doug Q

    Cutting subsidies for oil companies will take a chunk out of their profits, which they will make up for by raising prices.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:26 am |