Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) denies existence of billions in special oil subsidies

We have a new kind of denier in DC — an oil subsidy denier.  Think Progress has the amazing story and video.

Earlier this year, the GOP voted in lockstep to extend billions in tax breaks to oil companies. The subsidies include special tax breaks only available to oil and gas companies. For instance, there is the “Intangible Drilling Costs” tax break ($7.8 billion over ten years); a deduction for “tertiary,” or enhanced oil recovery methods ($67 million over ten years); and the percentage depletion allowance for owners of oil wells ($10 billion over ten years).

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), a staunch ally of polluters and top recipient of oil industry campaign contributions, was asked last week at the Toole County Republican convention if he supports such tax breaks to big oil. An incredulous Bishop retorted that “there are no special subsidies or tax breaks for oil companies, period.” Rather, Bishop claimed that there is a media conspiracy to fool the public into believing in oil subsidies:

BISHOP: There’s no subsidies for oil companies, oil companies get the same tax breaks that every other business gets. There are no special subsidies or tax breaks for oil companies, period.

CONSTITUENT: Why is that reported in the newspapers and on the-

BISHOP: They liked to spin it that way. Any change in oil companies was to give them the same tax structure as as every other manufacturing business gets. There is nothing that is that special or new or unique for these oil companies. And there are a lot of people who want to throw that spin out there. It’s spin, it’s crap.

It is true that oil companies, like every major corporation, will reap a windfall from Republican-proposed reductions in the corporate tax rate. But Bishop and his party are also extending billions in subsidies only available to companies in the oil industry.

A few Republicans, like Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), are stepping up to defend targeted subsidies to big oil. But Bishop’s defense is perhaps the most novel. In the past, Bishop used climate change denial as a strategy to defend oil company pollution. Now, he’s apparently using subsidies-denial to defend taxpayer giveaways to the wildly profitable oil industry.

However, more and more Republican lawmakers are regretting, or in some cases, forgetting their vote. Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL) told us that he now thinks oil subsidies are “corporate welfare.” At a town hall last week, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) said that oil subsidies should be “on the table” for elimination. And Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) now wants to vote to repeal them. Even GOP leadership, including Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and John Boehner (R-OH), have recently back pedaled support for tax breaks to the oil industry.

— A Think Progress repost

5 Responses to Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) denies existence of billions in special oil subsidies

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    The Republicans have learned that they can get away with any lie whatsoever. The media is too lazy, prostituted, or “balanced” to call them on it.

    When you lie on TV, even better. As McLuhan said, truth is a non issue in that medium. It’s all about providing emotional comfort to viewers, something the Republicans have mastered.

  2. It there any campaign planned to call him our on this? As a movement we need to systematically defend truth.

  3. Robert In New Orleans says:

    He is just representing the ignorance, intellectual laziness and flaccid thinking of people that voted for him.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    They’d deny that the world was round if there was a quid in it. The two big lessons the Right learned from the German fascist propagandists of the 1930s were the ‘Big Lie’ so audacious that the simple folk would never believe anyone could be so unprincipled as to utter it and the transformation of lies into ‘truth’ by endless, conscienceless, repetition. Needless to say these techniques have become a bit shop-worn, frayed about the edges and, hence, less effective, save with one crucial demographic. Our old mates the Dunning-Krugerites, and the thoroughly brainwashed foot-soldiers of the Right, who will believe anything that their thought controllers tell them to believe. Unfortunately there are lots of these creatures, who find independent thought and rational reflection an intolerable burden, and let others, like Beck, Limbaugh et al, do their thinking for them.

  5. Merrelyn Emery says:

    In that last para – is that a teensy-weensy chink developing in the armour? ME