Today, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Ed Markey, John Conyers, Jim Moran, Lois Capps, Peter Welch and David Price and others introduced legislation to cut the budget by ending roughly $40 billion over five years in wasteful subsidies to the oil industry. The "Ending Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act" (H.R. 601) eliminates subsidies that have worsened the deficit, weakened our energy security, undermined our ability to drive investment in sources of renewable energy, and damaged the environment.
"The oil industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world and does not need help from the government," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer. "With Congress already discussing painful budget cuts that will require American families to make sacrifices, it is only fair that we also stop the handouts to our richest oil companies. "It makes no sense that we are borrowing money from China to subsidize the most profitable industry in the world and corporations like ExxonMobil that earn billions every year. It's time for us to have a serious, rational discussion about cutting the budget."
"The biggest companies no longer need 100 year-old subsidies to sell $100 dollar per barrel oil to make nearly $100 billion a year," said Rep. Ed Markey. "We shouldn't be trying to balance the budget on the backs of our seniors and struggling middle-class families while oil company executives continue to line their pockets with tax breaks."
"If my colleagues across the aisle are serious about seeking out and cutting wasteful government spending, they should leave the American people alone and focus on the nearly $40 billion in wasteful subsidies that will go to Big Oil over the next five years," said Rep. John Conyers. "An injustice is perpetrated every day the government subsidizes the operation of a wildly profitable industry, while, at the same time, it tells American families that they must do more with less. Each day these tax breaks exist, our system of representative government fails because we place the needs of profitable corporations over the health and security of our constituents."
"To move forward on a path to clean energy, we need to stop propping up the dirty energy industries of the past. This legislation will end the tax breaks to big oil companies and save nearly $40 billion over the next five years," said Rep. Jim Moran. "Most of these subsidies and tax benefits were granted during a time when oil was selling for less than $30 per barrel and our domestic producers needed assistance to compete with foreign industries. With oil now selling for three times as much, these subsidies are no longer justified."
"I can think of few better ways to "Win the Future' than by eliminating these wasteful subsidies to Big Oil and investing the savings in the energy of the 21st century--solar, wave, and wind energy," said Rep. Lois Capps. "Eliminating subsidies for some of the world's wealthiest companies should be a "No-Brainer". We know Big Oil and their friends in Congress will stand in the way of this important legislation, and we'll hear some of the same false arguments we always hear. But the American people know better. They know it's time for a 21st century energy policy that creates jobs, gets our economy growing again, and protects our health."
"In a week when House Republicans are slashing programs ranging from low-income heating assistance to COPS to high-speed rail, it should be a no-brainer to end unnecessary subsidies to the oil industry," said Rep. Peter Welch. "Taxpayer support for mature, profitable industries makes no sense, particularly when we should be investing in the energy efficiency and clean energy sectors."
"If the Republican leadership is serious about reducing the deficit, eliminating subsidies for oil companies should be a no-brainer," said Rep. David Price. "This legislation would barely make a dent in oilcompany profits, which hit $77 billion last year alone, but it would have a significant impact on the federal bottom line - saving roughly $40 billion over 5 years. Instead of building wealth for shareholders of Exxon, BP, and Chevron, we need to invest in programs that create jobs for the American people and lay the foundation for our long-term global competitiveness."