PROVIDENCE—Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse spoke to a captivated audience of students, state representatives, and environmental advocates at the ‘Get Off Oil’ Forum, held this past Friday at Brown University. Two panels of local experts, from professors to businessmen convened to speak about various aspects regarding the globe’s reliance on fossil fuels which impact many facets of our everyday activities.
Reed and Whitehouse provided brief statements to the audience, detailing what is being done at the national level to reduce the United State’s dependency on oil, and also the political and economic challenges which stand in the way of the success of environmental sustainability.
“We all understand the ramifications of an over-reliance on petroleum products and its long-term environmental and economic problems,” said Reed. “Despite the huge profitability of oil companies, we continue to subsidize them very heavily.”
“Sheldon and I were both at a press conference calling upon the joint super-committee to take away the approximately $2 billion a year in subsidies from oil companies who are making extraordinary profits, and to use these funds in a much more productive way for our economy,” he added.
Senator Whitehouse echoed Reed’s concerns about the influence of oil companies in the political decision-making of the country.
“In the first three quarters of this year, [oil companies] made over $100 billion dollars,” said Whitehouse. “Not revenues, but profit. Why do they need to go into the pocket of the American taxpayer for a subsidy which is economically without any justification?”
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