Whitehouse Calls for End to Tax Breaks for Big Oil

Cosponsors Bill to Put Money Toward Deficit Reduction

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 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.


mpowell May 11, 2011 at 08:30 PM
It would be nice if physical supply and demand issues dictated prices however that is not the case. The commodities exchanges were created in order to allow users of the commodity to lock in a price over a future time frame so that they could then operate accordingly, thus smoothing out their oil price expectations. Now however with all of the hedge fund, pension fund, ETF riffraff in the market, the exchange has become more like the stock market where investors are influenced by sentiment, supply/demand, theories, charts, and momentum. They don't take delivery, only buy and sell. The exchanges have been twisted into creating a worse market climate than before it was created. Get the investor riffraff out of the oil/gas futures commodity exchanges. There is an ancient proverb which purports to correctly determine the sanity of an individual. A person is shown a stream of water flowing into a stagnant pond. He is given a bucket and asked to commence to drain the pond. If he first takes steps to effectively dam the inflow to the pond, he is adjudged sane. If, on the other hand, he ignores the inflow and tries to empty the pond bucket by bucket, he is designated as insane. Until this is resolved, no jobs, housing, or general economic recovery.


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