Gas Prices Have Been Rising For a Decade Why Keep Subsidizing Big Oil

Bill Scher

While the volatile price of gas can give you whiplash and screw up household and business budgeting, the fact is the price of gas has been steadily rising since 2002. It only took a break in 2008 after the global financial crisis shattered economic demand.

During this decade of increasing gas prices — largely driven by increasing demand and dwindling supply — and increasing oil company profits, we in America have continued to reliably subsidize oil companies with our taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile, we have not been as reliable or as robust with our subsidies to renewable energy alternatives.

So when gas prices go up, many Americans don’t have a choice but to pay it. This is called dependence, not capitalism.

Before today’s Senate vote on whether to repeal these oil subsidies, the oil industry lobbyists have launched an ad campaign to try to convince you that if we take away their free ride, our prices will go up even more.

Never mind that the independent researchers at the Congressional Research Service have already told Congress that the bill would not affect gas prices.

But put aside the official analysis for a moment. Just look at the chart above.

We’ve been doing it the Big Oil way for a decade. We give them taxpayer money, and we taxpayers get nothing back. Just higher and higher prices, and no accessible alternatives.

When something isn’t working, it’s time to try something else.

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