Center for American Progress Shills for T. Boone Pickens

by Myron Ebell on June 13, 2011

in Blog

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The ironically-named Center for American Progress posted a blog by Daniel Weiss and Stewart Boss this week that argues that conservative groups are opposing the T. Boone Pickens Earmark bill (H. R. 1380) that would provide subsidies to Big Natural Gas on the grounds that subsidies distort the market, while at the same time the same groups are defending subsidies to Big Oil.  For the record, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for which I work, opposes all subsidies and mandates.  These include subsidies to oil companies.  The claim that groups like CEI support tax subsidies for oil companies is based on the ridiculous re-definition by the left of standard business deductions taken by all companies as tax subsidies when taken by oil companies.

Weiss’s lengthy blog is predictably inane.  But it is obtuse even by the standards of the Center for American Progress.  Big Oil and Big Natural Gas are one and the same.  BP America is the largest producer of natural gas in the United States.  Exxon Mobil owns the world’s largest privately-owned reserves of natural gas.  Thus, by supporting multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies for natural gas, the Center for American Progress have convicted themselves of being in the pocket of the oil and gas industry.  They are almost certainly being paid off by T. Boone Pickens to flack for the Pickens-Your-Pockets Plan.

Matthew Garrington June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am

One point worth noting on oil and gas subsidies – yes, some of these subsidies are used by all businesses; however, there are subsidies specific to the oil and gas industry. It’s not intellectually honest to only point toward subsidies available to other types of businesses. And just because a subsidy exists, doesn’t mean that any and all companies should receive that subsidy.

Also, the word subsidy does include taxpayer handouts via loan guarantees, tax breaks, etc. Don’t believe me? Check out Kids Encyclopedia Britannica:

Indirect subsidies.

These are the most widespread, if less visible, forms of assistance provided to private enterprise and other institutions. Indirect subsidies may take such forms as favorable tax policies, loans, import quotas, and price supports. If, for example, the United States government persuades Japan to limit its new car exports, the United States auto industry benefits. It…

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