Sanders Amendment Would End Big Oil Tax Breaks

For Immediate Release

Senator Bernie Sanders
Contact: 

Michael Briggs or Will Wiquist (202) 224-5141

Sanders Amendment Would End Big Oil Tax Breaks

WASHINGTON - Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-Vt.) today urged the Senate to repeal
$35 billion in oil and gas industry tax breaks.  

In
a letter to colleagues, Sanders made the case for his amendment to a
tax bill
now before the Senate. The same loopholes were targeted for
elimination by
President Obama in his proposed budget for next year.

“Over
the last decade, the five largest oil companies (Exxon Mobil, Chevron,
ConocoPhillips, BP and Shell) made more than $750 billion in profits. 
These
profitable companies simply don't deserve tax relief,” Sanders said in
a letter to other senators. “With a record-breaking $13 trillion
national debt and an unsustainable federal deficit, the last thing we
should
be doing is giving tax breaks to oil and gas companies that have been
making
enormous profits.”

The
Sanders amendment would devote $25 billion of the savings to deficit
reduction. The remaining $10 billion would fund an Energy Efficiency
Conservation
Block Grant Program, a Sanders proposal created by the 2007 energy
bill. “The
energy-efficiency investments would lead to the creation of at least
140,000
jobs and would reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Sanders said.

The
amendment is cosponsored by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon
Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).
Organizations
supporting the amendment include the League of Conservation Voters,
the
Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, MoveOn.Org, Union of Concerned
Scientists,
Public Citizen, Physicians for Social Responsibility and others.

“It
is beyond comprehension that, according to reports, Exxon Mobil, the
most
profitable corporation in the world, not only paid no U.S. taxes last
year,
but also received a $156 million tax refund,” Sanders said. Other
companies
that took advantage of tax loopholes in 2009, according to reports on
file at
the Securities and Exchange Commission, include Chevron, which
received a $19
million tax refund; and Valero Energy, which received a $157 million
from the
IRS. Independent oil and gas companies which made a combined $3.7
billion in
profits in the first quarter of 2010 and $25.7 billion in revenue also
received generous tax breaks from the IRS. 

“This
amendment is a win for deficit reduction.  It is a win for job
creation.  It
is a win for the environment.  And, it is a win for consumers who will
save
money on their energy bills because they will be consuming less
energy,”
Sanders said.

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