Facts Behind the Oil Tax Loopholes and Windfall Profits

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–May 12, 2011.  Today, the Center for American Progress released “Americans to Big Oil: We’ve Got Your Number: The Facts Behind the Oil Tax Loopholes and Windfall Profits,” as the Senate Finance Committee solicits testimony from top executives of the five largest multinational oil and gas companies at the hearing “Oil and Gas Tax Incentives and Rising Energy Prices.” The Senate is expected to vote next week on the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act (S. 940), that would close $2 billion worth of tax loopholes for these five companies.

The numbers don’t lie. Tax loopholes allow Big Oil companies to ratchet up their annual earnings at the expense of American taxpayers. Well-placed campaign contributions to their congressional allies preserve these undeserved handouts. Americans eager to reduce the mammoth federal debt that threatens our economy’s long-term prosperity overwhelmingly support ridding the tax code of these unnecessary subsidies.

As Seth Hanlon, Director of Fiscal Reform, and Michael Ettlinger, Vice President for Economic Policy, at the Center for American Progress explain, tax breaks for oil companies and other superfluous “spending in the tax expenditure budget is fertile ground for deficit reduction.” But on May 5, Republicans unanimously voted down a Democratic attempt to put forward legislation that would end subsidies to oil companies. Seven Democrats also opposed the measure.

This column lists a by-the-numbers examination of what Big Oil is costing us, plus a few examples of where the billions of dollars salvaged from their balance sheets might be better spent. The numbers include:

  • The cost of Big Oil’s loopholes
  • The amount of Big Oil profits
  • The low effective tax rates for Exxon Mobil
  • Oil campaign cash and votes to close loopholes
  • Public support for ending tax breaks
  • What oil tax dollars could buy

To read the full column, click here.

Source: americanprogress.org