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100,000 voices have spoken out on oil subsidies, will Reid listen?

Daily Kos, Environmental Action, and USAction band together to demand cuts oil subsidies

Contact: Drew Hudson,

House Democrats, 16 Senators led by Robert Menendez, andPresident Obama have spoken publicly about the need to end oil subsides as part of a solution to the budget impasse and the haphazard spending cuts known as the sequester. But so far, Harry Reid and the other Senators have been silent on the issue, while Republican Paul Ryan has called for an additional $2 billion a year in oil tax breaks.So progressive organizations are demanding that oil subsidies be cut as part of any deal to balance the budget, and have gathered an impressive 100,000 citizen comments to back up the plan. And oil companies are rattled, running ads to combat any potential cuts.

    USAction, Environmental Action and Daily Kos combined their forces to refocus the budget debate on government waste like oil subsidies that represent poor policy, poor economics, and poor morals. The oil industry is taxed at a much lower rate, 9%, than almost any industry, and is a leading cause of  global warming. Investment in green jobs would provide far more bang for taxpayers' bucks. 

    The 100,000 signatures came with an invitation, for Reid to join the groups on a sequester debrief on March 27th. The event is timed to coincide with the potential shutdown of the federal government, unless Congress can agree on a Continuing Resolution. "If Congress wants to cut wasteful spending, it should start with the really stupid ideas that also destroy our climate and our collective future - like the $10 billion in subsidies to Big Oil. We're counting on Senator Reid to listen the people - and the majority of the Senate - and include this in any budget deals voted on this month," said Drew Hudson, Environmental Action. A previous vote on oil subsidies garnered a majority vote in favor, but the bill was not allowed to advance because of procedural maneuvers.

"Ending tax breaks and subsidies to one of the most profitable and destructive industries on the planet should be a no brainer, " said Chris Bowers, Campaign Director at Daily Kos. 

    “A prosperity for all economy means no longer paying for the things we can’t afford so that we can afford the things we need,” said USAction spokesman Ross Wallen. “We can start by ending subsidies to Big Oil, making the biggest corporations and wealthiest Americans pay their fair share and reining in wasteful Pentagon spending. Only then can we afford to invest in America’s priorities moving forward – clean jobs, good schools and health care and security for our communities and families.”

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