The Mystery of the Invincible Oil Subsidies (Video)

Steve Snodgrass via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Yet another effort to repeal oil subsidies crashed and burned in the Senate yesterday, to the surprise of no one. Yesterday, I wrote about why this happens, and why nobody even really takes efforts to end federal handouts to Big Oil seriously anymore.

For a more thorough explanation of exactly why oil subsidies are so invincible, I heartily recommend this MSNBC Chris Hayes segment (via David Roberts and his newly revamped blog). It details, from start to finish, how absurd it is that a policy—one that nobody likes (except oil companies), that nobody thinks is good policy (except oil companies), and that politicians on both sides of the aisle have come out in favor of doing away with—manages to persist.

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Especially interesting is the bit about Teddy Roosevelt, who broke up powerful monopolies in the interest of preventing them from obtaining the sort of political power the biggest five oil companies enjoy today.

In conclusion: Especially as long as we allow the channels between corporations, their capital, and politicians to remain so flagrantly open, we're going to see bad policies that everyone hates like oil subsidies stick around.

Tags: Congress | Oil