Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BP’s tax break, Big Oil Continues to Profit, while the Arctic Warms Faster than Expected

Did you know that BP can write off some of its losses from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster? BP plans to save about $13 billion on its 2010 tax bill thanks to these write-offs.  So, U.S. taxpayers are indirectly picking up some of BP’s disaster cleanup costs and compensation fund.  Taxpayer-interest groups and legislators are calling for BP to refuse to take the tax credits.

Despite BP’s setback last year - Big Oil is rolling in the bucks.  Taxpayers for Common Sense summarized the big oil companies’ 2010 profits which totaled $76.8 billion.  So far, 2011 first quarter profits, add up to $36.5 billion.  These profits have been linked to recent lobbying efforts.

In the meantime, thanks to people increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from burning the fossil fuels (which Big Oil Companies profit from) and other actions, the Arctic is warming faster than expected.  The sea-ice is declining faster than models predicted in 2007.  In fact, “The area of sea ice persisting in summer (polar pack ice) has been at or near record low levels every year since 2001.”  Another report also indicates the Arctic coastlines are retreating by 0.5 m (1.6 ft) a year.  Opening of Arctic sea passages due to ice loss will change the ocean’s ecology and may explain why a Pacific grey whale was sighted in the Mediterranean Sea last year.

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