Blog Tags: Subsidies
People don’t often think of international trade laws when they think of ocean conservation. But international trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are immensely important for ending harmful practices like overfishing.
Today, Oceana’s VP for Chile, Alex Muñoz, partnered with Canadian actress Cobie Smulders write an editorial for the Huffington Post about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important conservation opportunity. They urge their countries, and others in the TPP, to protect the oceans by ending harmful fisheries subsidies. We’d like to share their editorial with you, and we hope you’ll pass it on to others.
Andy Sharpless is the CEO at Oceana.
What will lower your gas prices at the pump?
If you were to listen to national politicians and the marketing of the oil and gas industry, they would tell you that increased domestic drilling will lower your gas prices – and that tax breaks for oil companies will help get us there.
But this simply isn’t true, and it’s been proven time and time again. Oil is a global commodity hunted and extracted by multinational corporations who will sell the oil to the highest bidder, not simply to the citizens of the country where the oil was found. What’s more, the U.S. is a relatively oil-poor country – estimated to have 2 percent of world oil reserves – so even extracting all its oil resources will affect pump prices only by pennies, and will take a decade to be realized.
The oil industry is currently enjoying $4 billion a year in tax breaks from the U.S. government. Surging profits this year for the industry – up 74 percent to more than $100 billion – show that it could easily pay its fair share of taxes. Even if we weren’t currently having a national conversation about balancing the federal budget, this policy is not sensible.
So it was with pleasure last week that I stood outside the U.S. Capitol along with five U.S. senators, six representatives and the Sierra Club to speak out against tax subsidies for oil companies.
By ending billions in tax breaks for oil companies, the U.S. government will protect American taxpayers as well as our beaches, paving the way for a clean energy future.
We'll continue to fight for this crucial change. Your support makes it possible.
Leading up to what will be one of the heaviest fisheries negotiating rounds in recent memory at the World Trade Organization, Oceana is in Geneva this week holding its Board of Directors meeting. Oceana is working to stop fishing subsidies by working with the WTO to produce new trade rules.
The board had a chance to meet with WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, and Oceana was also welcomed into the Australian Mission, where CEO Andrew Sharpless spoke briefly on the state of the oceans and how the WTO can help.
The latest accident on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig couldn't have come at a more significant time for the efforts to pass comprehensive climate change and energy legislation. With Senate plans to expand and even incentivize offshore drilling, this accident serves as a reminder of how costly offshore drilling truly is.
Despite advances in drilling technology and all of the precautions made, drilling is a high risk business and even the newest technology cannot prevent all spills. Fires, explosions and accidents are more common than they would like you to believe. New technology advances have pushed the envelope for drilling efforts. Expanding drilling activities into these “frontier” areas only increases the risk.
Take away for the moment the immediate danger to personnel on the rigs and look at the potential environmental and economic costs to coastal towns relying on fishing and tourism. Oceana's federal policy director, Beth Lowell discussed the dangers last night on NBC Nightly News:
- Reducing Bycatch Casualties, One Whale at a Time Posted Mon, April 14, 2014
- New York, the New Windy City? Posted Mon, April 14, 2014
- Drill, Spill, Repeat: Shining a Light on the BP Gulf Disaster 4 Years Later Posted Tue, April 15, 2014
- Hands Across the Sand Posted Wed, April 16, 2014