The spill is not only destroying a major body of water but also exposing superhuman levels of greed:

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform set off the worst oil spill at sea in American history, it was flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. Registering there allowed the rig’s owner to significantly reduce its

The owner, Transocean, moved its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Cayman Islands in 1999 and then to Switzerland in 2008, maneuvers that also helped it avoid taxes.

At the same time, BP was reaping sizable tax benefits from leasing the rig. According to a letter sent in June to the Senate Finance Committee, the company used a tax break for the oil industry to write off 70 percent of the rent for Deepwater Horizon — a deduction of more than $225,000 a day since the lease began.

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With federal officials now considering a new tax on petroleum production to pay for the cleanup, the industry is fighting the measure, warning that it will lead to job losses and higher gasoline prices, as well as an increased dependence on foreign oil.

But an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.

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The sad thing is that it took an exceptional environmental catastrophe for this kind of information to float to the top of our daily news stories. Without the spill, all claims about how the government should not intervene in economic matters, and how the poor are just lazy, welfare bums, would have continued without checks or challenge. What is it we are now seeing? (“The flow of revenues to oil companies is like the gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico: heavy and constant...”) These corporations and their political representatives wanted neoliberalism for the poor and socialism all for themselves.

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