Mitt Romney has turbo-charged his support for Big Oil by selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate. The House-passed Ryan budget would retain $40 billion in tax breaks over a decade for Big Oil while demanding huge cuts in the budget for innovation and clean energy. In addition, the Romney-Ryan budget would provide $2.3 billion in new tax breaks for the five largest oil companies. This 2011 post ran after Ryan first introduced his radical plan.
By CAPAF’s Daniel J. Weiss and Richard W. Caperton
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed FY 2012 budget resolution is a backward-looking plan that would benefit big oil companies at the expense of middle-class Americans. It retains $40 billion in Big Oil tax loopholes while completely eliminating investments in the clean energy technologies of the future that are essential for long-term economic growth.
This budget would lock Americans into paying high, volatile energy prices. It would ensure that millions of clean energy jobs are created oversees–not here in the United States. It is a path backward to Bush-Cheney Big Oil energy policies that cost jobs and harm American competitiveness. In short, the Ryan plan ensures that we lose the high-stakes competition for the $2 trillion worldwide clean tech market.
Ryan claimed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that his plan “rolls back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration.” This is false. Ryan’s proposal actually violates his assertion in two ways. It maintains wasteful subsidies for Big Oil, while cutting valuable investments in the clean energy technologies of the future.
Let’s consider each of these in turn. First, Ryan’s plan would continue “welfare” for big oil companies.