Biden Rails Against Billions in Oil Industry Tax Giveaways
Today, U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) called on his colleagues to support legislation that would repeal the wasteful billion dollar tax breaks for the nation's largest and most profitable oil and gas companies. Biden -- who during a key Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month got the heads of all six of the nation's most profitable oil companies to admit that they did not need the billions in tax incentives included in last year's energy bill - called the measure "a non-partisan, no-brainier."
"Since President Bush took office the price of gas has doubled - increased 100 percent," said Biden. "High gas prices that make us queasy at the pump, have been very good for the major oil companies. They are flush. Prices went up during Katrina. Six months later we learned that these oil companies made record-breaking profits -- $111 billion in 2005.
"Last year, this Administration handed out a billion dollars in oil and gas tax breaks in the Energy Bill. Guess what? It turns out they don't need them. I know - because they told me.
"The CEOs of the six largest oil and gas companies came in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. So I asked them, under oath: Do you need these tax breaks? And they said: No. Each one agreed. No. They don't need them.
"So I have a simple, common sense proposal. Let's repeal them. Let's do it immediately. Let's not give them billions in tax breaks that they clearly don't need. It is a waste of taxpayers' money. This is a nonpartisan, no-brainer.
"We have the word of the oil companies themselves - they don't need it. Let's take the first step in taking control of our national energy policy. We have better things to do with this money. Let's take it back. "
Specifically, Biden moved to put the Senate on record in support of legislation that would repeal the $2.6 billion in tax breaks to the oil industry.