Pelosi: A Rare Victory for Taxpayers Over Big Oil'
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on a House vote last night to deny taxpayer subsidies to oil companies that are drilling in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. On an amendment to the fiscal year 2007 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, the House voted 252 to 165 to prohibit companies that are benefiting from royalty relief from obtaining new drilling leases.
"For many months, House Democrats have called for an end to massive taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil. Last night's vote against subsidies was a long-delayed step in the right direction, a rare victory for taxpayers over Big Oil.
"The big five oil companies earned $32.8 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2006, on top of record-breaking profits of $100 billion in 2005. Retiring ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond received a retirement package worth nearly $400 million.
"In the meantime, working families are turning their wallets inside out to fill their gas tanks. It is outrageous to ask families to dig even deeper to subsidize oil drilling on undersea lands that belong to the American people.
"I am also pleased that Democrats took the lead in passing pro-environmental amendments to maintain protections against oil and gas drilling along sensitive coastal areas, prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from weakening right-to-know regulations on the release of toxic substances, protect vulnerable streams and wetlands, and prevent the building of logging roads in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska."