Many Americans including the elderly and the working poor are now having to do without heating oil as a price of a barrel of oil has quadrupled from just $28 a barrel when Bush was elected in November 2000 to over $117 a barrel today. All of this has only gone to make the cost of heating oil around $4.00 a gallon, which is unaffordable for millions of Americans who cannot afford to spend $500-700 a month to heat an older home with oil. Many Americans find themselves wearing layers of clothing shivering in cold homes as a result of big oil buying the Bush Administration into power in Washington.
The result of this oil plutocracy government in Washington has been over 4,000 American service persons killed and over 20,000 wounded, many seriously as the result of the Bush Oil Administration's attempt to grab on to the oil assets of Iraq. Instead of securing lower oil prices, oil supplies became more uncertain as a result of the war, and worldwide oil speculation of the tightening world supplies only helped to fuel a ballistic upward surge of oil prices on the world commodity markets. The resulting huge inflation of oil prices has only driven up food prices as well as inflation in so many other areas and helped to ruin the American economy driving it into a recession.
For the first time in American history, many of the members of the Bush Administration represented only one industry group, oil. In fact, 43 members of the Bush Administration were from the oil industry including Bush himself with family oil ties, Vice President Dick Cheney with his Haliburton Oil Company background as the former CEO, Secretary Of State, Condoleezza Rice, a former Chevron Oil board of directors member, and Don Evans was the former CEO of Tom Brown Oil Company, among other Bush Administration members who held positions who were former oil company lobbyists, executives or stockholders. In addition, another 33 members of the Bush Administration had defense industry ties or like convicted felon "Scooter" Libby Lewis, were strong advocates of "preemptive warfare". Other disgraced militarists included Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, both part of the militarist organization, The Project For The New American Century.
The oil industry is not about to lose power in Washington and has already made big contributions to the three senators running for president. Republican John McCain has received $291,658 in big oil contributions so far. Hillary Clinton has received $289,950. And Barack Obama has received $163,480 in contributions from the oil industry. This industry is hedging it's bet by making contributions to all the remaining candidates.
During 2007, Exxonmobil spent around $17 million to lobby Congress. Chevron spent around $9 million on lobby efforts. And BP, ConnocoPhillips, Shell and others around $5 million or less dollars on lobby efforts to kill legislation on renewable energy bills or other profit hurting legislation that would cut oil industry profits. While millions of Americans struggle to afford heating oil, oil company profits among just the "Big Five" companies total around $230,000 a minute. In 2007, the "Big Five" oil companies earned $123 billion in profits, and continue to enjoy $1.8 billion in tax breaks. Most recently, Republicans in Congress fought to stop an attempt by the Democrats to remove some tax advantages of oil, only proving the great power of the oil industry in Washington to control legislation relating to the industry.
In many ways it seems like the oil industry engages in a form of "pay for play", by spending money on lobby efforts to gain big tax breaks. For every $1 the oil industry spends on lobby efforts, the oil industry earns $264 in tax breaks currently. During 2007, big oil's efforts to kill renewable energy legislation could have killed an estimated 116,000 jobs for those working in solar, wind, and other alternative energy research and production. Big oil has constantly fought a battle to strip away tax credits from alternative energy purposes while fighting to retain it's own big tax credits.
Meanwhile the failed war for oil in Iraq has cost Americans over half a trillion dollars in taxes, and has only acted as yet another factor driving up more oil speculation and significantly boosting oil prices. On April 15, when most Americans paid their taxes, few knew that an average family pays around $2,700 a year in taxes for the military, including funding for the Iraq War for oil. So far the failed war for oil has cost the average household $4,681 in taxes since 2003, while the federal government only spends just 29cents a year on consumer protection by comparison.
If anything the big oil industry involvement in Washington has only proven that whatever you invest in you get more of. Big oil's involvement in Washington has only resulted in a MidEast war for oil, record gas and home heating oil prices, huge food and other inflation, a recession, and big profits and tax breaks for the industry. Meanwhile oil is at $117.58 at the time of this writing, and $4.00+ a gallon gas is a coming reality.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!