On Tuesday, Obama sent out a Congressional letter asking for an end to the $4 billion in tax subsidies the oil and gas companies receive each year. The letter was coupled with a Congressional bill to end $40 billion in subsidies for large oil companies over the next five years. This is a step in the right direction, The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel says on MSNBC, and represents the interests of the majority of Americans—a majority, she adds, who agree that corporations have too much power over our democracy. Even Republican House Speaker John Boehner let it slip that ending oil and gas subsidies should be on the table, which his party quickly retracted.

At this point, the GOP, which vanden Heuvel calls the “Grand Old Polluting Party,” is completely in the pockets of the oil and gas industries. In 2010, lobbying for oil and gas companies was at $146 million. If the Democrats are able to institute a windfall profits tax, vanden Heuvel says, the money the government currently doles out to the oil and gas companies could instead go into the pockets of all Americans, where it could be put to much better use investing in green cars and other environment-friendly initiatives.

—Sara Jerving