Why does gasoline cost $4 a gallon in the U.S. and $10 a gallon in the U.K.?
Because in the UK and the EU gasoline is taxed to pay for the infrastructure it requires.
The US does the following - all effectively subsidize gasoline at the expense of the income tax payer:
#1 direct tax break gifts to big oil
#2 using income tax revenue instead of just insufficient gas tax revenue to build and maintain roads and highways
#3 fighting expensive wars to protect oil supplies
#4 not paying for its share of environmental and health damage
Not that I disagree as I have no knowledge, but I'm curious how that can be? If a subsidy has zero impact, what's the point? If Chevron got a subsidy and no one else did, wouldn't they be cheaper? If not, does that subsidy just vanish into the corporate coffers?
The oil companies basically sell gas for the most the market will bear. If they can get a higher price in Canada or Europe or China (after shipping) then they will sell it there, not in the US. Only the market will change the price, not whether or not they get any subsidies. ckessel if Chevron got a subsidy and BP didn't, they would both still sell their gas for the highest price the market will pay.
Rich I think you are basically saying the same thing I am. If the oil companies had to pay for all those things you listed in #1 - 4, they would still sell their gas for the most they could get for it. If that was less than their cost, they would cut production until the price came back up. They sell it in EU and UK for about the same price as in the States. The reason the consumer pays more there is because the government adds a larger tax.
The reason we have massive subsidies for the oil industry is not to keep prices low. It's because they have a very powerful political lobby and several very effective super-pacs.