Yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (Republican – Ohio) said that ”we oughta be looking at” ending some federal oil and gas subsidies, stating that oil and gas companies should “pay their fair share in taxes.” The Republican leader’s seemingly casual commentary has caused waves in Washington and online, with former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (Democrat – California) tweeting that is was “nice to see @SpeakerBoehner open to ending billions in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil.”
Today, in response to Speaker Boehner’s comments, President Obama released a letter calling for immediate action to repeal tax breaks and incentives for big oil and gas. Is this letter, the President urged current House and Senate leadership to:
…take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and to use those dollars to invest in clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
The President went on to discuss the burden of rising gas prices on Americans, and his support of Representative Boehner’s comments in support of evaluating the advisability of existing tax breaks. Citing his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future (Released March 30, 2011), President Obama reiterated his belief that the United States must work toward cleaner, domestic sources of energy.
Speaker Boehner has already begun his quick retreat from yesterday’s statements – but, it appears to be too late to call a retreat as Democrats and the administration have already pounced on the controversial issue.