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Protesters line Bollinger Canyon Road to dispute 'subsidy sucking' corporations

Original post made on Oct 12, 2011

Several activist groups joined together in protest outside Chevron headquarters in San Ramon on Tuesday afternoon, calling for an end to subsidies for oil companies. Part of a national week of action, Tuesday's protest was held in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations held across the country and throughout the Bay Area.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 4:57 PM

Comments (14)

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Posted by Karen S
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:09 am

Heading home from Target at around 11:30 am, I saw about 25 people protesting and didn't hear anyone honking in support.

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Posted by Chris
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

Accrued taxes are not the same thing as taxes paid. The total of accrued and paid is meaningless in this context. Companies must accrue based on the laws and standards, but can negate having to pay the accrued amount in numerous, legal ways. Nice bit of mis-direction.

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:33 am

Dear Editor,

By the title of this article readers must assume this is an editorial rather than fair and balanced journalism. Your obligation is to illustrate the issues in question raised in protest with the perspective of all sides of such issues. Simply answer the questions, 1) does subsidies support our energy needs and development of alternative energy?, 2) does Chevron enjoy excessive profits based on subsidies and tax allowances? 3) does Chevron provide community engagement and support important to our region? 4) is Chevron an important employer in our region?

Journalism is not displayed in use of "subsidy sucking" and real journalism would be very welcome.

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Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 9:03 am

In the fall the nuts ripen and fall off the trees!

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Posted by Duffy's Mother
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

There there... there there...

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Posted by Jessica Lipsky
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 10:32 am

"Subsidy sucking" refers to a chant and display protesters participated in on Tuesday afternoon. There is a picture of the "subsidy sucker" on our photos page. This fact was made clear in a recent article (Web Link) - apologies for not being clearer in this latest story.

Jessica Lipsky

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

Fact is that the oil industry is one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the United States. Refer to this article from the NY Times: Web Link

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Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

Attention: "Duffy's Mother"
Thank you, thank you. Most readers tell me I have no mother!

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Posted by CW
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

These local protestors want subsidized money to go to Obama's Job Bill which is much like his Stimulus Bill that did absolutely NOTHING to help the economy or create jobs! Obama's Job Bill will cost texpayers over $200,000 per job!!! Obama only knows how to "spend"! Americans are tightening their belts, so shouldn't the government do the same? I'm tired of watching Obama campaign around the country and take fancy trips on "US", the taxpayer's backs! Maybe if government stopped interfering with business and let capitalism take over the economy would improve!!! He's adding more regulations and taxes to small businesses, so why would they want to hire new employees?!! Another 4 yrs. with Obama and we can kiss this country goodbye!

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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm


Can you name one federal subsidy Chevron receives? It doesn’t matter which one. Just name one. Odds are you can’t. That NYT’s article you posted didn’t name one either. I doubt any of these protesters can either.

Likewise, Jessica’s article doesn’t inform the reader what’s these protesters consider a “subsidy.”

Apparently they consider ordinary and necessary business deductions and credits as “a subsidy.”

By that rationale, if Chevron hired someone and claimed a tax deduction for that person’s salary, would they consider that tax deduction “a subsidy?”


Chevron cannot defer U.S. tax on its U.S. source income. It must pay such tax to the U.S. govt. on a quarterly basis, otherwise it will incur a penalty. You are incorrect that Chevron can, “negate having to pay the accrued amount in numerous, legal ways.”

Perhaps you are referring to deferring U.S. tax on foreign source income. This is a common practice for companies in the high tech, pharmaceutical, and other low-taxed industries. They keep their earnings parked offshore in tax havens in order to defer paying U.S. tax. Thus, they have an overall effective tax rate of around 26%, far below the 35% U.S. statutory tax rate. They can keep those earnings offshore and effectively never pay U.S. tax on it.

In contrast, Chevron, like most oil companies, is subject to high income tax rates around the world, generally over 40%, so their overall effective tax rate is generally above the 35% U.S. tax rate. Thus, oil companies are generally not deferring U.S. tax on their foreign oil and gas income, because their earnings have already been taxed at a rate above the U.S. rate.

If you want to protest profitable companies not paying their “fair share” of taxes, you should go across the bay to companies like Google, Apple, and Cisco, all of which enjoy U.S. tax deferral and effective tax rates far below the 35% U.S. tax rate. They also enjoy R&D tax credits and many other so-called tax subsidies.

Of course, protesting Google probably doesn’t fit neatly in your anti-oil paradigm.

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Posted by CF
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I am going to take a wild guess that most of the people protesting put Obama in office. If true, you only have yourselves to thank for the bad economic situation we are in. Like CW said, another 4 years of him and we can kiss this country goodbye!

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Posted by TL Nelson
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm

These protestors are economic illiterates. I blame our education system for people like this in our society.

Personally, I don't think the government should be in the business of providing subsidies to any industry including energy (or agriculture). Government subsidies drive capital to less efficient uses hurting our overall economy. The energy subsidies are in place to keep investment in the United States. Without them, capital invested by these energy companies will go overseas where projects with better financial returns are available. Chevron invests about $25 Billion per year in its global business.

When these protestors attack companies like Chevron, they attack the 100+ Million Americans who are shareholders through their savings in IRA/401K mutual funds. They attack Chevron's 55,000 employees. They attack the thousands of companies that supply goods & services to the energy industry ... and they attack the general public who must pay higher prices for energy if the company's cost of doing business increases.

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Posted by Farmer Dave
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Farmer Dave is a registered user.


Thank you for the story and photos showing the "Occupy Wall Street" movement spreading to the San Ramon Valley.

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

Dear Editor,

The picture appearing with the story on the Express website illustrates thinking that disconnected. In humor, it seems to answer "how many furlongs in a fortnight? with connecting two issues as one oxymoron. The challenge to your journalism is to provide in-depth review of issues portrayed and if they exist as a collective issue to our domestic economy and our global economic role.

Global news services are covering this movement's purposeful ignorance of global economics with detailed review of what is missing from the approach of these demonstrators. Such news service coverage provides you the resources for telling a complete story to very-savvy professionals that are the majority of our region's residents. To your readers this is more than an event or any display of your personal position and provides EMCEB the opportunity to serve readers with in-depth presentation of issues surrounding these demonstrations.

May we look forward to your journalism?

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