Senate Votes on Big Oil Tax Breaks

As Americans suffer pain at the pump, Senate votes on eliminating big oil tax breaks

05-19-2011 // Tony Iallonardo

As the oil and gas industry enjoys record profits and consumers pay up to $4.00 a gallon for gas, this week the Senate took a roll call vote on S.940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act. While 60 votes were required for passage, a majority of 52 senators voted in favor, including two Republicans.

Joe Mendelson, National Wildlife Federation global warming policy director said,

“Billions of taxpayer dollars are enriching the wrong industry and rewarding the wrong behavior. Americans know it’s fundamentally unfair to make extreme cuts to conservation, science and clean energy programs that invest in our future while polluters get special breaks. It’s past time to hit the reset button on this wasteful spending.

“Republicans Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe deserve particular gratitude for bucking their party’s leaders and being champions for consumers and conservationists.”

S. 940 would eliminate $21 billion of tax loopholes over the next decade for the five largest oil companies. All recovered funds go to the U.S. Treasury to reduce the federal budget deficit.

Father and daughter fishing

Preserving our natural resources — parks, refuges, forests, recreation areas, campgrounds, trails, rivers, oceans, meadows, grasslands, mountains and seashores — means jobs and economic growth in numerous communities across the country.

Outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion a year to the U. S. economy, supports nearly 6.5 million jobs and generates $88 billion in annual state and national tax revenue and $289 billion a year in retail sales and services. The almost 90 million Americans who fish, hunt or watch wildlife in the U. S. spent $122 billion in 2006.

Recent independent research from the Congressional Research Service and the congressional Joint Economic Committee says eliminating these tax breaks would not raise gas prices. Three-quarters of Americans support ending the subsidies.

Related Resources
  • Take Action
    Defend Polar Bears, End Big Oil Tax Breaks

    Help defend polar bears by editing and sending a message to your members of Congress, urging them to end tax breaks to big oil and gas.

Stop Dirty Fuels