Feeling a bit tapped out lately?
Perhaps that’s because oil companies consider you, the taxpayers of Washington State (and, in fact, every state of the union), to be their own private self-serve source for cash.
While Big Oil’s profits reach record levels—up roughly 1/3 from last year’s preposterous peaks—they continue to demand tax breaks and federal subsidies. It seems that the poor lil’ ol’ oil barons need that money for “research” and to maintain “jobs.”
To which one might inquire: Research for what? To find new ways of bilking the struggling middle class out of more tax dollars? To discover cutting-edge methods of eliminating competition from alternative energy companies? To develop ever more sleazy commercial propaganda reassuring American taxpayers that offshore drilling is perfectly safe and ought to become so rampant that no visit to the beach will be complete without a stunning of an oil rig and romantic walk along the tarry sand?
Also, what kind of jobs? Desk jobs for executives in the Middle East (and we ain’t talkin’ Jersey) overseeing the distribution of American oil? Temporary jobs during construction of new rigs and subsequent supervision of spill cleanup? Jobs for law firms constantly litigating the disastrous effects of Big Oil’s “Drill Baby Drill” mantra?
The startling reality is that with just a portion of the $7 billion dollars in Big Oil subsidies drained from taxpayers, America could invest in genuine research and provide permanent family-wage jobs.
Federal grants for further exploration into alternative energy sources would afford the funds needed to make our nation self-sufficient for the foreseeable future. From geothermal to wind to tidal to solar, the sources are literally out there, waiting to be harnessed. No more invasions of the Middle East, catering to transnational monopolies or waiting for the next petroleum (or, for that matter, nuclear) related apocalypse.
And that research would generate millions of jobs. American jobs. Jobs right here in Washington State, producing and maintaining power plants from the soils of Spokane to the winds of Wenatchee to the waves of Neah Bay to the sunny skies of Sunnyside.
No drills, no spills, just good old American inventive ideas, hard work and community cooperation.
Let’s turn those Big Oil subsidies into small town remedies.
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