My apologies for using the word #budget# if this is what threw you off. As dermo has pointed out (thank you), I was thinking of the Energy Bill that was recently passed. Although, due to the fact that the federal budget must be adjusted annually to reflect expendatures mandated by other legislation, I do not think that I was mistaken in my choice of words.
There is a $2 billion subsidy to oil companies for transitioning from production involving MTBE. Not to mention the immunity from MTBE contamination lawsuits.
For reference MTBE is what replaced lead in gasoline when its inclusion was outlawed due to the fact that leaded gasoline was a significant air polluter as compared to unleaded, the problem is however (and therefore the cause of the lawsuits) that MTBE pollutes water. These lawsuits are potentially very huge as many people in this and other countries get their water from aqueducts and reservoirs both of which can be polluted with MTBE from the air as well as precipitation and runoff.
The president has even publicly decried these subsidies to oil companies. (take note of how much cheaper a barrel of oil was when he made these remarks too.
?Even President Bush has complained about some of the bill's subsidies, telling an audience of Hispanic business owners this week, "With oil at more than $50 a barrel ... energy companies do not need taxpayer-funded incentives to explore for oil and gas." ?
Although the president did still sign the energy bill. Are line-item veto powers still in place? (just interested). If they are they could, and should have been used. Hypocritical, but what else can you expect from politicians?
If you care to read a little on the history of tax breaks and subsidies as they apply to the oil industry Taxpayers for Common Sense has a decent page on the topic. Although the page dose make reference to the failed 2003 energy bill, the history of subsidies section is still quite interesting, it should also be noted that many provisions of the 2005 energy bill were very similar to the 2003 bill.
It is a good site to look around on too, provided you do not have any issues with hypertension.
I would also direct you to TCS?s analysis of the energy bill in which they break down the broad categories of expenditure in the bill and the projected costs thereof.
I should also note that many of the bills provisions not relating to Nuclear or Coal energy (Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Vehicles and Fuels, Hydrogen, Research and Development, Energy Tax Policy Incentives, Ethanol and Motor Fuels, Studies, Climate Change, Miscellaneous, and Incentives for Innovative Technologies) are likely to, or to already have found their way onto the balance sheets of the oil companies.
Another alarming feature of the energy bill is that the funding for a number of provisions is defined as ?such sums as are necessary? leaving the actual costs of these provisions beyond the realm of calculability, although speculation exists that these sums could easily reach into multiple billions of dollars not reflected in the current estimation of the $89 billion cost of the energy bill.
Similarly, the true future cost of tax breaks and tax incentives is difficult to calculate as it is difficult to predict the performance of the overall economy, demand for, supply of, and the price of crude, changes in corporate tax levels and other applicable taxes.
Those would be the subsidies that I am talking about.
On a similar note, you may be interested to know that your Representative (he may be from a district other than yours) Billy Tauzin and Senator Mary Landrieu have received very significant campaign contributions from oil companies, in the period from 1998 to 2004 totaling $438539 and $343755 respectively. See:
Your other Senator, David Vitter, recieved $259446 in campaign contributions from oil companies for the 2004 election cycle, and another LA representative, Chris John recieved $213296 from oil companies for the 2004 cycle as well. See:
All of them happened to vote for the energy bill.