Conservationists are calling them “oilmarks” — subsidies left in the federal budget while other services are being cut. The state Wildlife Federation, environmental and outdoor groups say instead of earmarks, oil companies are given help, and that the U.S. House is cutting programs that protect water and air quality.
Steve Moore of the SC Wildlife Federation says that his and 45 other groups who signed a letter to Congress are wondering why.
Americans overwhelmingly show in polls that they’re in support of strong environmental regulations, clean water and clean air. But, yet, Congress and the House, this past weekend, decided to go in another direction and it’s just mystifying, why they would do that in the guise of reducing budget deficits, which just doesn’t do.
Moore explains “oilmarks” as :
Basically what they are, they’re earmarks for oil companies and some of the other polluters. And they can take two forms. They can be direct subsidies. There was one amendment that was offered that would cut the $4 billion a year subsidies that oil companies get and that was actually defeated. That was actually done something about budget deficits and reduced it about $4 billion bucks each year. But that was defeated.
The SC Wildlife Federation, Coastal Conservation League, the South Carolina Audobon Society and other national groups say natural resources are taking a hit to help business.
The environmental community is always accused of being “Chicken Little“ and always saying “the sky is falling.” But it’s always actually industry. Industry always says anytime there’s a new regulation, it’s going to drive them out of business, it’s going to run them overseas, it’s going to cost millions and millions of dollars and the truth is, that just doesn’t happen. The reason that companies relocate overseas is because of labor costs and insurance costs.
Moore of the Wildlife Federation says that Congress is making cuts to some programs that save the nation money:
It’s kind of one of these things where it’s hard to figure out how many things you’ve prevented from happening. But obviously with air being cleaner and water being cleaner we’ve actually saved money in health benefits. We also employ a lot of people in enviornmental technology industries in this country and we export that technology around the world. It employes almost two-million Americans.
These groups signed a letter to Congress asking them to reconsider cutting funds under the clean air and water acts, while offering subsidies to oil interests, or, as they call them, oilmarks.
But at the same time there still giving $4 billion a year subsidy to the oil companies. Exxon Mobile was the most successful company in the world last year and it’s hard to figure out why the taxpayer should be subsidizing them. These things don’t have anything to do with the budget deficit. And that’s what’s unusual about this. These things don’t really cut the budget deficit. We’re talking at the most a few million, when we’re still giving oil companies $4 billion.