Let's drill down a bit to a sort of donations from oil and gas companies to individual House members in 2010:
That goes a long way toward explaining this:
Check out this interview of Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)—he of apologizing to BP fame—by ABC on Wednesday. Pressed repeatedly by Jon Karl to stake out a position on tax credits enjoyed by offshore oil companies, Barton argued that the subsidies represent equal treatment, and are required to keep the companies like Exxon-Mobil from going out of business.
"Over time if you put so many disincentives against any U.S. manufacturing or production company, or oil and gas exploration company, they'll go out of business," Barton said.
Government subsidies are necessary to keep Exxon from going out of business. Those government subsidies to keep Exxon in business are more important than funding healthcare, funding education, keeping the lights of government on. Good to know. Repealing these tax credits could save the government—could save the American taxpayer—$46 billion in the next decade.
But Joe Barton wants Exxon to be able to screw Americans twice, first at the pump, and then on April 15. Apparently the free market only works for oil and gas companies when the heavy hand of government intervenes.