This little gem came out today during the daily White House press briefing. Real Clear Politics is reporting that Ed Henry pressed Jay Carney about Obama’s vote in 2005 where he supported a bill which contained more than $2 billion in oil subsidies. This is one for which he didn’t vote “present”; he voted “yes”. Click here for the amusing video exchange.
Henry: Why did the President vote for the energy bill in 2005 as a Senator that had over $2 billion in tax breaks for the oil industry? They were making a lot of money then too.
Carney: What I can tell you Ed is that the oil and gas companies in this country are making record profits, now, in 2012. The price at the pump is very high and that is plenty of incentive for these companies to continue drill, to continue to explore, to continue to develop energy sources here in the United States and abroad. There is no reason for the American taxpayer to subsidize that activity.
Henry: So why’d he vote for it?
Carney: I haven’t examined the vote, or what the prices were at the time, or the whole bill it was attached to. What I know and what the President knows is that this year, 2012, when we are seeing high prices at the pump, high prices in the international oil markets and high profits for the oil and gas companies, there is no reason to continue these kinds of subsidies. Take that argument to the people, I don’t think they’ll go along with it.
In previous writings, I’ve noted how politicians decry oil’s “record-profits” — but coincidentally forget to mention how much money the oil companies have invested just to earn said profits.
Interestingly, just today, the Senate only reached 51 (out of 60) votes on a measure that would have ended the subsidies. The vote was 51-47. Even the Democrats don’t want to end them. They’d rather to pander to their base by “regulating” oil profits (H.R. 3784) by imposing a profit “windfall tax”.
I can’t wait (and wait and wait) to hear President Obama’s explanation on his 2005 vote….