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Valeri Vasquez

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Big Oil’s Mountain of Cash Article
A sign advertises gasoline prices at a Chevron gas station in Mountain View, California, Friday, January 28, 2011. (AP/Paul Sakuma)

Big Oil’s Mountain of Cash

The most profitable oil companies are fighting to keep tax giveaways that could be used for deficit reduction even though they have billions in cash reserves, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Bush-Era Job Program Is GOP Leaders’ No. 1 Target Article
The plug to charge the batteries is plugged in to a Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid on the first press day of the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2009. (AP/Thomas Kienzle)

Bush-Era Job Program Is GOP Leaders’ No. 1 Target

Congressional Republicans once again propose slashing funding for a successful job creation program, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez. The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program is creating jobs and will reduce oil use.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Reserve Oil Sale Will Boost Economy Article

Reserve Oil Sale Will Boost Economy

The Obama administration’s decision to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will translate into savings at the pump and add to our GDP, write Daniel J. Weiss, Christina DiPasquale, and Valeri Vasquez.

Daniel J. Weiss, Christina DiPasquale, Valeri Vasquez

Mercury Falling Article
Trucks carry out loads of coal at the Pine Creek Coal Company in Spring Glen, Pennsylvania. A new EPA standard aims to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, including coal-fired plants.

Mercury Falling

Many power plants can reduce their mercury and other toxics emissions without significant hardship, write Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez, and Stewart Boss.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez, Stewart Boss

American Electric Power’s Dirty Trick Article
A coal-fired power plant is shown in Thompsons, Texas. American Electric Power announced that it plans to close 21 coal-fired electricity units rather than invest in reducing pollution under forthcoming EPA regulations. (AP)

American Electric Power’s Dirty Trick

American Electric Power’s threat to close coal-fired power plants rather than comply with EPA requirements to reduce air toxics is designed to bring opposition to pollution controls, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Memorial Day Driving by the Numbers Article
Conductores manejan en la autopista 70 cerca de Denver. Este feriado los conductores gastaran un promedio de $23 más llenando sus tanques de gasolina este año debido a que los especuladores están causando que los precios suban. (AP/David Zalubowski)

Memorial Day Driving by the Numbers

Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez examine how much high gas prices and oil speculation are costing Americans as they take to the roads this weekend.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Echoing Big Oil’s Protests Article
CEOs from the Big Five oil companies spent nearly three hours on May 12  defending billions of dollars in annual subsidies  for their companies, which celebrated more than $32 billion  in profits this quarter. But the hearing soon resembled an echo chamber of Big Oil  messaging, with Senate Finance Committee Ranking Republican Orrin Hatch  (R-UT), pictured above, assisting. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Echoing Big Oil’s Protests

Pro-oil senators played copycat with Big Oil CEOs during last week’s hearing on ending subsidies for the companies before voting to protect the handouts, writes Valeri Vasquez.

Valeri Vasquez

Exxon Mobil Dodges the Tax Man Article
Gas prices above five dollars a gallon are seen on a sign at a gas station in Washington. (AP/Susan Walsh)

Exxon Mobil Dodges the Tax Man

Valeri Vasquez explains that ExxonMobil is able to get away with paying a lower effective tax rate than the average American.

Valeri Vasquez

Big Oil Visits the Stock Market With Your Money Article
A Conoco Phillips gas station is seen in Denver. The company devoted $1.6 billion of its $3 billion first-quarter earnings to stock buybacks—more than 50 percent of its profits. (AP/David Zalubowski)

Big Oil Visits the Stock Market With Your Money

The big five oil companies used their megaprofits from the first quarter to repurchase their own stock and enrich themselves, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

The Year of Living Dangerously Report
Scott Burton, left, gives a boat ride to neighbors down a flooded street Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP/Mark Humphrey)

The Year of Living Dangerously

2010's extreme weather could be a preview of a not-too-distant future should we fail to reduce carbon dioxide pollution, write Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez, and Ben Kaldunski.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez, Ben Kaldunski

Pump Pain, Big Oil Gain Article
In this September 27, 2011 photo, cars line up at the pumps at an Exxon mini-mart in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. High gas prices are bad for consumers but great for Big Oil, which pulled in a staggering $101 billion in profits during the first nine months of 2011. (AP/Gene J. Puskar)

Pump Pain, Big Oil Gain

The eye-popping first-quarter profits of the five Big Oil companies due to high gas prices clearly indicate the need to eliminate tax subsidies to these companies and invest in cleaner fuels, argues Valeri Vasquez.

Valeri Vasquez

Oil Roulette Article
Ryan Riemath starts to fill his tank at a Shell gas station Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington. (AP/Elaine Thompson)

Oil Roulette

Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez evaluate soaring oil prices and propose effective, progressive solutions.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Fossil Fuels: A Legacy of Disaster Article

Fossil Fuels: A Legacy of Disaster

Fossil fuel workers pay a high price for our reliance on these energy sources, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez. Renewable fuels are safer for workers, human health, and the environment.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

CR Compromise Protects Air Pollution Safeguards Article
President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) were able to convince House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), above, to drop a rider in the compromise budget bill stop the EPA from reducing mercury, arsenic, dioxin, soot, and carbon dioxide pollution from coal-fired power plants and other sources.But Speaker Boehner has vowed to continue to push for cuts to environmental programs. (AP/Alex Brandon)

CR Compromise Protects Air Pollution Safeguards

Important air pollution safeguards and investments in clean energy were preserved in the budget deal hashed out last week but Big Oil tax loopholes remain, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Why the EPA Is Important for Latino Families Article
Hispanic farm workers harvest Ranunculus bulbs at the Carlsbad Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. Eighty-eight percent of our nation’s farm workers are Latino, and these employees and their families are regularly exposed to harmful pesticides in both the air and water. (AP/Sandy Huffaker)

Why the EPA Is Important for Latino Families

The Environmental Protection Agency is a “green line of defense” for Latino families, write Jorge Madrid and Valeri Vasquez. Latinos should reject conservative attacks against it.

Jorge Madrid, Valeri Vasquez

Clean Tech Budget Showdown Article
Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant rises behind a 30-day-supply of coal in Holcomb, Kansas. The 2011 House spending bill would halt the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting us harmful pollutants from coal-fired power plants, and it fails to invest in oil reduction and clean energy technologies. (AP/Charlie Riedel)

Clean Tech Budget Showdown

The House and Senate spending bills would lead to vastly different energy futures, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Oil Profits from Pump Pain Article
Families have seen a 13 percent increase in gas prices at the pump in the last year. (AP/Rick Bowmer)

Oil Profits from Pump Pain

Big Oil is sure to gain from oil price volatility due to unrest in the Middle East, write Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez

Invest and Grow Article
Minnesota state lawmakers unveil the first plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle, or PHEV, to hit Minnesota streets during a news conference at the Minnesota Capitol Building on August 23, 2006. The president has set a fundamental goal to have 1 million plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles on the road by 2015, to further reduce oil use. (AP/Jim Mone)

Invest and Grow

Daniel J. Weiss and Valeri Vasquez compare the investments in the president’s budget to the shortsighted cuts to federal energy programs by the House majority.

Daniel J. Weiss, Valeri Vasquez