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Rep. Katie Porter Slams Fossil Fuel Exec Who Says Taxpayers Don’t Subsidize Oil Industry

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‘You wanna destroy our planet? Do it on your company’s own dime’ — Watch Rep. Katie Porter shut down this fossil fuel executive who claims taxpayers don’t subsidize the oil industry. » Subscribe to NowThis Earth: https://go.nowth.is/Earth_Subscribe » Sign up for our newsletter KnowThis to get the biggest stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox: https://go.nowth.is/KnowThis For more climate crisis news, stories on environmental issues, and world news, subscribe to NowThis Earth. #KatiePorter #FossilFuels #BigOil #Earth #Environment #Science #NowThis This video "Rep. Katie Porter Slams Fossil Fuel Exec Who Says Taxpayers Don’t Subsidize Oil Industry", first appeared on https://nowthisnews.com/.

Video Transcript

KATIE PORTER: You want to pollute? You want to hurt the wildlife? You want to destroy our planet? Do it on your company's own dime. Look, I get it. You drill in the Arctic Refuge. You take out oil and gas, and you poison the plant. Bad enough. But why should taxpayers have to subsidize that activity? It's a bridge too far, Mr. Macchiarola. Not with my tax dollars.

You want to pollute? You want to hurt the wildlife? You want to destroy our planet? Do it on your company's own dime. The subsidies here have to stop.

Thanks for your question.

KATIE PORTER: Ms. Thunberg, I want to talk-- that's not a question, Mr. Macchiarola. That's a fact.

This isn't your first rodeo. You've come to testify before in Congress, and you've worked on these issues for a long time. Before you were working for the American Petroleum Institute, you were staff director for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Is that correct?

Yes.

KATIE PORTER: And that committee has jurisdiction over the issues that you now lobby on. And you get paid a much better salary in the private sector than in the government, which is very typical. And your companies, they're part of capitalism. They invest. They take risk. They earn money. They share that money with shareholders.

But my question is, why should the taxpayers have to pay for any of that? Why should taxpayers have to shell out for your salary and for the costs of pollution? Why shouldn't the companies bear that themselves?

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: Thanks for your question, Congresswoman. So taxpayers paid my salary when I worked for the government from 2004 through 2013. Since then, after leaving public service, I've worked in the private sector in a range of different roles. And taxpayers have not funded my salary--

KATIE PORTER: Reclaiming my time, Mr. Macchiarola.

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: --since that time. Thank you.

KATIE PORTER: But you are aware that the fossil fuel industry receives-- received $30 billion in federal subsidies in 2020, last year. You don't think they use any of that federal money to pay your salary, to come lobby us, to keep the rules in their favor so that you can come back to lobby us? Why do I have to pay for you to shill for oil companies? Why do we as taxpayers have to pay subsidies to the oil and gas industry?

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: Thank you for your question, Congresswoman. So the federal leasing of oil for oil and gas development produces a significant amount of funding for the Treasury. In fact--

KATIE PORTER: Reclaiming my time. Mr. Macchiarola--

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: Well, I'd like to explain--

KATIE PORTER: Mr. Macchiarola, excuse me, but the evidence is clear. We subsidize, we taxpayers subsidize the oil and gas industry. We did it this year alone, in the middle of the world's greatest pandemic, $15.2 billion in direct pandemic relief alone to fossil fuel companies.

And the fossil fuel industry turned around in 2020 and spent $139 million on political donations and $111 million lobbying.

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: I'd like to-- I'd like to respond to the question.

KATIE PORTER: Reclaiming my time.

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: --to the question about stabilization, because it's a very important point that you made, Congresswoman. During the period of time where the economy was shedding 20 million jobs, and both Congress and the administration, through fiscal policy and monetary policy, came in and stabilized the economy through bipartisan efforts.

KATIE PORTER: Reclaiming my time, Mr. Macchiarola, there's nothing magical about bipartisan. The vast majority of your political contributions are to Republicans. And during that period from March to August when you were receiving-- the oil companies were receiving $15.2 billion in direct relief, you laid off 107,000 workers from that March to August. Now I want to talk to Ms. Thunberg for a minute.

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: You referenced my congressional experience. I actually have found that there is something magical about bipartisan. It's something that this Congress--

KATIE PORTER: Oh, reclaiming my time [INAUDIBLE], may I have my time back?

FRANK MACCHIAROLA: --could actually take a lesson from bipartisanship and-- to be able to move forward on some of these important issues, Congresswoman. Thank you for your question.

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