Biden Calls for End to Handouts to Oil Companies, as Profits Continue to Skyrocket
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) today called upon his Senate colleagues to repeal billions of dollars in tax incentives for oil companies, as the largest oil companies in the world reported another record-breaking quarter.
"We're giving away billions of dollars in incentives to these guys at a time when they are making money hand over fist. It is an absolute waste of our resources," said Biden." They even agree that they don't need the money. We should put the money we save here to better use by increasing our energy security through renewable energy sources."
Under questioning from Senator Biden during a Judiciary Committee hearing in March of this year, the heads of six of the largest oil companies agreed, under oath, that they did not need the more than $2 billion in tax incentives included in last year's energy bill.
Senator Biden proposed repeal of the tax breaks as an amendment to pending legislation that would open a section of the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling.
"Our country does not have an energy policy. Our families are slammed by high prices at the pump, and our foreign policy is held hostage to the "axis of oil" - nations getting rich and gaining power from their control of oil," said Biden. "The last thing we should be doing is throwing more money at the most profitable industry in history. I urge the Majority Leader to bring this amendment to a vote."
Profits at Exxon Mobil alone surged 36 percent to $10.4 billion this quarter, the second-biggest profit ever recorded by a US company, behind only the $10.7 billion Exxon earned in the fourth quarter of last year. Additionally, ConocoPhillips' quarterly profit surged 65 percent to top $5 billion, and BP posted a 30 percent rise in profits netting $7.3 billion up from $5.6 billion a year earlier.