America’s Biggest Energy Scam is Happening Now

The oil and gas industry in the United States has experienced several major accidents and scandals throughout history. Some notable examples include the Teapot Dome scandal in the 1920s, the Enron collapse in 2001, and the oil spills from the Deepwater Horizon, Exxon-Valdez, and Santa Barbara incidents.

However, there is currently a scandal that is the largest, most egregious, and most profoundly damaging.

The partnership between the governments of America and the fossil fuel industry has been happening for many years, without being stopped or punished. The government provides financial support and makes it easier for companies to produce and use oil, natural gas, and coal, even though they are aware that these products are causing long-term harm to life on Earth.

A number of our elected officials have been involved in a carbon cartel that has prevented effective action on climate change. In the 1950s, scientists in the United States started to warn that fossil fuels were causing changes in the climate. However, fossil fuels continue to account for approximately 80 percent of the energy used in the United States. Additionally, the United States has become the largest producer of oil and gas globally.

The Teapot Dome scandal was a situation where the oil industry bribed one government official. Today, the oil industry has the ability to influence elected officials by making unlimited campaign contributions, engaging in persistent lobbying efforts, and running expensive advertising campaigns to improve the industry’s reputation.

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According to Open Secrets, the oil and gas industry has spent more than one trillion dollars on election campaigns from 1990 until last month. From 1990 to 2020, five major oil companies are said to have spent a minimum of $3.6 billion on advertising. Scientists have found that most of the world’s underground fossil fuel reserves should not be extracted.

However, the U.S. oil and gas industry continues to drill and has made an average of $2.8 billion per day over the past 50 years, according to Statista, a data analysis firm. According to Statista, the industry has been making over a trillion dollars every year for most of the past ten years.

The industry could have used these large investments and profits to take the lead in transitioning to clean energy worldwide. Instead, it has been engaged in a lengthy effort to mislead policymakers and the American people and to intimidate those who criticise it.

Congress has not taken significant action to reduce the use of fossil fuels through requirements or economic factors. The industry receives billions of dollars in yearly tax breaks that support oil and gas production. The industry is able to shift over $750 billion of social and environmental costs onto others. The market price of these fuels does not take into account the damages they cause, which makes it difficult for cleaner alternatives to compete.

In 2022, the additional expenses added up to $2,243 for each person in the United States, including men, women, and children. Congress had multiple chances to fix this market “imperfection” through carbon pricing in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009. However, it did not take action.

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Americans pay for fossil fuels in four different ways. First, through tax subsidies. Second, in their energy bills. Third, with the costs of health care and environmental cleanup. And fourth, with the increasing costs of climate-induced disasters.

Before industrialization started, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air was 280 parts per million (ppm). In the 1980s, the level of something reached 350 ppm, which was still considered to be safe. Scientists predict that the concentration of CO2 pollution will reach almost 427 ppm this year, which is higher than it has been in millions of years, despite promises from countries to reduce it.

The industry’s dishonesty and confusion has been well recorded, and a congressional investigation has recently verified it. However, it is worth mentioning some of the most recent developments in the industry.

For instance, oil and gas companies often file lawsuits against environmental organisations (known as SLAPP suits) that disagree with their views on free speech and assembly. In 1993, researchers at Duke University found that citizens and local community groups were being sued for participating in public activities that were previously considered normal. SLAPP lawsuits are often unsuccessful in court, but they are used by the industry to scare and exhaust the resources of environmental organisations.

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