If this is accurate, then it is a very troubling indication regarding how the Federal government is being “captured” by an industry it is supposed to be regulating. This political/economic phenomenon is commonly referred to in the field of Political Science as an “Iron-triangle.” Iron-triangles reveal why vast political and perhaps even economic reforms are desperately needed to combat the political corruption and special favors that are bankrupting our Nation. Imagine how much revenue could be raised to off-set the deficit if instead of subsidies, these companies had to pay the exact same percentage of tax dollars as the average working American (with no special loop-holes allowed). They wouldn’t like it, and would threaten to leave the country, but they would ultimately drill where the resources are located regardless of whether their taxes were increased to an equitable level or not. Albeit, they would rather drill where tax conditions are most favorable, but a far more equitable tax payment percentage could certainly be struck, and should be struck for the benefit of all future Americans. Likewise, the influence of these companies on the political process must be mitigated and lessened. Fossil fuel extraction and sale will not last forever, but the revenue these companies are withholding from the Federal government is raising the amount of tax the average American must pay. Thus, with their subversion of the Federal regulatory system, they are creating a severity of poverty all across America that could become generational. Ultimately then, we will rise and fall as a prosperous nation, not on how many tax breaks we give to big oil, but rather, based on the extent to which the people in power actually represent our interests, as opposed to the interests of the “Robber Barons” of a new age.