SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – With gas prices spiking here in the Bay Area and around the rest of the country, California Senator Barbara Boxer said she believes it’s time to reign in “big oil”.

Boxer said there’s a reason we have a rainy day fund, and now more than ever is the time to use it.

“We’ve got to go to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It’s quite full and has more oil in it than ever before,” said Boxer. “When we did that in 2005, the price of gas decreased 31 percent in the next three months.”

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

It was just this past week when several of the top oil firms in the nation reported multi-billion dollar profits. Senator Boxer said with a cash flow like that, it should be time to end all the federal tax subsidies given to them.

“They’re getting corporate welfare and corporate subsidies to the tune of $4 billion a year,” she said. “We have to take that money and put it into alternatives.”

Drilling is another option as Boxer said these companies are sitting on 70,000 acres of leases that they have yet to tap into.

“They are not environmentally-sensitive so I say use it or lose it,” said Boxer.

She is also calling for a crackdown on oil speculation, as she said the practice adds an extra $20-25 per barrel of crude oil.

Boxer said if the administration doesn’t get a handle on oil and rising gas prices, it could thrust the nation back into a terrible recession.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. genomega1 says:

    There is only one big American oil company left, Exxon and they paid $60 billion in taxes last year. Big oil has not received any federal tax subsidies in over 3 decades. The people that receive federal tax subsidies are small mom and pop oil companies, many are one family with an oil well in the back yard. If you take away their depletion allowance they will stop pumping oil, then we can import even more. If Boxer was serious about lowering the price of gasoline they could lower the federal tax and stop demanding the production of exotic blends. What about the federal tax subsidies for ethanol producers, the price of corn has risen 105% in one year. I guess she is not concerned about people being able to buy food.

    1. muse says:

      Exxon is not a mom and pop entity! your logic is absurd, and your data in error! Lobbyists, corporate greed, and tax bailouts for the oil tycoons are obscene!

      1. genomega1 says:

        I know exactly what I’m talking about, perhaps a little research would help you understand what you are talking about. Listening to anti-capitalists propaganda are not facts. Exxon gets no tax bailouts.

  2. Radicalguy says:

    Why doesn’t Boxer call out Israel, The real reason we are paying so much for Oil?

    1. athenia says:

      another retired nazi? Teabager? Its called corporate greed, and disregard for the environment—Blame the GOP not Israel!

  3. Tom says:

    In 2010 Exxon paid $15 billion in taxes but not one cent went to the United States. Profits for the year were $30.46 billion. Profits were invested off shore. Subsidies paid by the United States Government to Exxon for 2010 were $4 billion. We should feel sorry for Exxon and all oil companies? It is important to use accurate data and not something that expresses emotional feelings to support Exxon.

  4. Gerhard Schneider says:

    We will soon hear the Reublican Politicians tell the people that Obama is raising “Your” taxes.
    To all you Republican Sheep, stop fighting for Tax Breaks for Rich People, the Super Rich Corporations and the Lobbyists that pay the Republican politicians.
    If you make LESS than $3 million per year, you are NOT in their club. They are using you.
    Have you ever seen a millionaire or billionaire holding protest signs against their tax increases?
    (you won’t because the middle class and low income are out marching for them).

  5. David says:

    Wait a second… I thought that one of the looming crises of the next 25-50 years was climate change? Pretty much the ONLY way to slow that process is to curb use of fossil fuels, and rising gasoline prices will certainly have that effect, no?

    Riddle me this: if carbon taxes are a good solution to the environmental problems that are coming, and WILL NOT have an adverse impact on the economy, then how is it possible that rising gas prices due to speculation (or whatever other sinister bogeyman necessary) are a bad thing and WILL have such an impact?

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