It is no secret that President Joe Biden, given his devotion to the cult of climate change, is an avowed enemy of America’s oil and gas industry.
Thus, while disappointing, it was not surprising that Biden singled out tax incentives and subsidies for the oil and gas industry as “wasteful spending” that he will cut in his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024, the Daily Caller reported.
Of course, that certainly doesn’t mean that Biden views all tax incentives and subsidies as “wasteful spending,” as the outlet noted that the president has substantially increased the number of incentives and subsidies given to so-called “clean” energy producers like solar panels and windmills.
“Big Oil” tax subsidies targeted as “wasteful spending”
In a White House “fact sheet” that outlined some of the cuts to “wasteful spending” in President Biden’s proposed budget released on Thursday, “Big Oil” was among the various “special interests” that were targeted.
“The President is committed to ending tens of billions of dollars of federal tax subsidies for oil and gas companies,” the release stated. “Even as they benefit from billions of dollars in special tax breaks, oil companies have failed to invest in production.”
“In 2022, they realized record profits and cut their investment as a share of operating cash flows to the lowest levels in decade, while undertaking record stock buybacks that benefited executives and wealthy shareholders,” the White House added. “The Budget saves $31 billion by eliminating special tax treatment for oil and gas company investments, as well as other fossil fuel tax preferences.”
Cut subsidies for oil and gas; expand subsidies for “clean energy”
According to Reuters, it is unclear exactly how much the oil and gas industry receives annually in tax subsidies given the complexity of the tax code and the wide assortment of narrowly specific tax breaks there are scattered throughout the code.
That said, the best estimates are that the subsidies collectively amount to anywhere between $10 to $50 billion per year, which would suggest that Biden’s estimated savings of $31 billion is reasonably within that range.
Of course, there has long been a debate about how worthwhile those subsidies are, as some argue that they are too costly and send an “inappropriate” message amid the global furor over climate change.
Unsurprisingly, the industry and its supporters counter that the subsidies are necessary to spur innovation and investment and maintain an affordable and reliable supply of energy.
Yet, while Biden has proposed saving $31 billion by slashing all tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry, the Daily Caller noted that his administration favors a collective estimate of $369 billion in tax subsidies for “clean energy” production like solar and wind, including an estimated $136 billion alone over the next 10 years in subsidies for battery production.
This is nothing new for Biden
As for President Biden’s targeted attack on “Big Oil” in his proposed budget, that is nothing new, as he has routinely targeted the oil and gas industry through both actions and rhetoric since even before he took office.
Biden has done his worst to stifle domestic energy production through regulatory means, then complained about the skyrocketing costs of energy — and the related surge in profits due to the higher prices — and demanded more investment and production from the industry, even as he routinely reminds them that their days are numbered and oil and gas will soon no longer be needed.
In the end, Biden’s proposed budget, including the elimination of tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry, has virtually no chance of being passed by Congress, but the unmistakable message of his clear antipathy for that industry and desire to ultimately decimate and destroy it has nonetheless been sent.