May 10, 2011

Whitehouse Calls for End to Tax Giveaways for Big Oil

Washington, DC – With Rhode Island drivers continuing to feel the pain of rising costs at the pump, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today cosponsored legislation introduced in the Senate to end expensive tax breaks for big oil companies. The Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act would end these handouts to the five largest oil companies and use the billions in savings to help reduce our federal deficit.

“These companies are doing just fine on their own, making over $33 billion in profit last quarter, and shouldn’t be double dipping into Rhode Islanders’ wallets by charging near record prices and taking our tax dollars,” said Whitehouse. “We should put an end to these tax breaks to Big Oil.”

The legislation would repeal a number of tax giveaways to Big Oil, including subsidies to oil companies for producing oil overseas and an unfair deduction that can often eliminate federal taxes for oil companies. It would also end the tax classification of oil companies as manufacturers, which allows them to take a tax credit meant to help actual manufacturing companies create jobs. All together, repealing these tax breaks will save taxpayers $21 billion over 10 years.

Whitehouse has been a leading advocate for action to reduce gas prices. Earlier this year he led a group of other Senators in calling on President Obama to sell off a small portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), and has also been active in efforts to crack down on speculation in the oil market – which is believed to be artificially inflating costs for consumers.


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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921