Post image for About Those Big Bad Oil Companies . . .

On May 17, the Senate voted 52-48 for S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). The bill would selectively hike taxes on the nation’s five largest oil companies (Chevron, Shell, BP America, Conoco Phillips, and ExxonMobil).

The bill failed of passage, falling eight votes short of the 60 required to overcome a filibuster.

But that was just one skirmish in the protracted political war against U.S. energy production. A majority of Senators voted for the bill and gasoline prices could hit new highs in the summer driving season. So expect more anti-oil demagoguery from the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body in the very near future.

Demagogues feed and exploit public ignorance and frustration. Nobody likes paying $4.00 a gallon for gas, and self-styled progressive politicians, pundits, and activists claim Big Oil is “price gouging,” reaping “windfall profits,” and not paying their “fair share” of taxes. They claim we’d all feel less pain at the pump if Big Oil felt more pain on April 15. This popular narrative has no basis in fact or economic logic. [click to continue…]