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Articles by Steve Kretzmann

Steve Kretzmann has worked on energy issues and the global oil industry for more than twenty years. He has worked with communities and organizations around the world concerned with the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the oil industry. He founded Oil Change International in 2005 in order to educate about the true impacts of fossil fuels and to conduct research, education, and organizing to hasten the transition to clean energy. He is currently campaigning for an end to fossil fuel subsidies globally, and to clean up Dirty Energy Money in the US Congress. Visit www.dirtyenergymoney.com

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As the congressional supercommittee continues to struggle towards an agreement on cutting $1.5 trillion over a decade from the national budget, cutting government handouts to the oil industry is an obvious and oft repeated target for the chopping block. Public support for removing subsidies to the oil industry remains overwhelmingly positive. 

Even John Boehner and Paul Ryan have voiced support for the idea — even if they were later reminded of their obligations and silenced by their oily campaign donors.

Democrats though, can’t seem to decide if they’re serious about ending all these subsidies, or if they’re just interested in scoring political points by bashing Big Oil. This lack of clarity is rewarding their political opponents, confusing and undermining their base of support, and minimizing their chances of policy and political success.

President Obama has proposed cutting roughly $40 billion over 10 years in subsidies to the oil, gas, and coal industries in every budget he’s submitted to Congress since taking office. While these are not all the subsidies that these mature and very profitable industries enjoy, they are ... Read more

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