US President Barack Obama called on Congress Saturday to stop handing oil and gas companies USD four billion annually in taxpayer subsidies, affirming that America needs to invest in the energy of the future.
“After the worst recession since the Great Depression, our economy is growing again, and we have gained almost two million private sector jobs over the last 13 months”, said Obama in his weekly address but acknowledged that with gas price now more than USD four a gallon is causing “real pain for our families at the pump, they also mean bigger profits for oil companies”.
“This week, the largest oil companies announced that they had made more than USD 25 billion in the first few months of 2011 – up about 30 percent from last year”, he added.
Obama noted that he has no “problem with any company or industry being rewarded for their success.
The incentive of healthy profits is what fuels entrepreneurialism and helps drives our economy forward”.
“But I do have a problem with the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies we have been handing out to oil and gas companies – to the tune of USD 4 billion a year”, he added.
Obama renewed his call to Congress “to stop subsidizing the oil and gas industries” saying that America’s oil production last year reached its highest level since 2003 and adding that the US should “instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, we should invest in tomorrow’s” like solar and wind power.
“I know that in this tough fiscal environment, it is tempting for some in Washington to want to cut our investments in clean energy, but I refuse to cut things like clean energy that will help America win the future by growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs; that will help make America more secure; and that will help clean up our planet in the process”, he concluded.