This week the Democratic House passed a bill rescinding tax breaks for oil companies and the reaction from Republicans was utterly predictable--
"There will be less investment in American energy, there will be less production of American energy, we will have more dependence on foreign oil, and we will have higher fuel prices," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas). "Make no mistake: Politicians are shooting at Big Oil, but they're hitting American energy workers, and they're hitting families in the pocketbook."Excuse me? The oil industry has continued to report record profits and any attempt to reign them in will automatically translate into oil industry workers getting the shaft? Don't even get me started on what it will mean to consumers.
If you check the website of any major corporation and read their statement of principles it will inevitably say something along the lines of "our success is a direct result of our focus on the needs of shareholders, customers and employees."
More often than not these days only the first part of that equation is true. It's not that way through the realities of the market, or some other iron law of capitalism beyond our control. It's that way by choice. It's that way because the people that make the decisions regarding whether their corporations will focus on shareholders, customers or employees are usually also the biggest shareholders in that corporation.
It's time for the oil industry and congressional Republicans to stop taking hostages.