The Trump Tax Scam is like a “greatest hits” album of unpopular Republican policies. It prioritizes giveaways to the wealthy and corporations over middle-class families; takes away people’s health care; and forces deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid down the line.
In addition to these high-profile changes to our nation’s tax and health care systems, the Tax Scam would have a huge impact on our environment. Republicans opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling for the first time so that they can give oil and gas companies billions of dollars in tax cuts.
The Tax Scam opened a pristine wildlife refuge to oil drilling
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of our nation’s most wild and iconic landscapes. Democrats and Republicans in Congress alike have worked to protect the Refuge from backdoor attempts to drill for three decades, and they are backed by the 2/3 of Americans who are opposed to drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
Now, the Republican-controlled Congress—led by Representative Don Young and Senator Lisa Murkowski—has opened ANWR to drilling for the first time. This push came on the heels of the Keystone XL pipeline blowing a leak on November 16 that contaminated the surrounding landscape with at least 210,000 gallons of crude oil. With oil supplies at historic highs and gas prices at long-term lows, there is no justification for using the Tax Scam to allow more drilling. Any development footprint in the Refuge stands to disrupt this fragile, critically important landscape—especially when a leak like the one from the Keystone XL pipeline could devastate the entire ecosystem.
Oil and gas companies make a killing
Oil and gas companies are some of the biggest and most profitable in the world—and the Tax Scam will allow them to rack up even bigger margins without regard for their impact on the environment. The two biggest changes in the Tax Scam to how corporations are taxed are reducing the corporate income rate from 35% to 21%, and allowing companies to immediately deduct 100% of the cost of capital (such as drilling rigs) from their tax liability. Both of these changes are a massive boon to oil companies as they seek to ramp up their drilling efforts while minimizing the amount they have to pay in taxes.
The true cost of these changes is not limited to dollar figures; we will pay for it, and our children will pay for it, by having a world with less wilderness and more people hurt by climate change.
Republicans must be held accountable at the polls in November 2018 for their support of the Trump Tax Scam and its negative effect on the environment.