Senate Democrats

Fact Sheet: One Year After BP Disaster, Republicans Give Tax Breaks To Big Oil Paid For By Re-Opening The Donut Hole For Seniors

Republican Budget Protects $44 Billion In Tax Breaks For Big Oil And Gas Companies While Cutting Prescription Drug Benefits For Seniors By The Same Amount

Republican Budget Protects Nearly $44 Billion in Tax Loopholes and Subsidies For Oil and Gas Companies While Forcing Seniors To Pay the Same Amount in Additional Costs for their Prescription Drugs. The Republican budget protects $44 billion in unnecessary and expensive tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies, even as oil companies are reporting record profits. Meanwhile, The Republican proposal would “re-open” the prescription drug donut hole and cost the average senior who falls into the donut hole approximately $11,794 between 2012 and 2020. Over that time, Ryan’s budget will cost seniors an estimated $44 billion in prescription drug costs, including $2.2 billion next year alone.  [Reuters, 2/1/10; OMB, FY12 Budget Proposal; HHS, 11/4/10; DPCC Report, 4/14/11; Republican Budget Proposal, 4/15/11].

Republican Plans To Dismantle Medicare and Provide Tax Giveaways to Big Oil and Gas Companies Extremely Unpopular With Americans. According to a new ABC/Washington Post survey, 84 percent of Americans oppose the Republican plan to privatize Medicare and force seniors to pay twice as much for their health care. Meanwhile, a February 2011 NBC / Wall Street Journal poll found that 74% of Americans support eliminating tax credits for the oil and gas industries in order to reduce the deficit. [ABC/Washington Post Poll, 4/20/11; NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll, February 2011]

Former Big Oil Executive: “Such Subsidies Are Not Necessary.” Large oil companies don’t need tax subsidies when oil prices are high, a former CEO of Shell Oil said in February. “In the face of sustained high oil prices it was not an issue—for large companies—of needing the subsidies to entice us into looking for and producing more oil,” John Hofmeister told National Journal Daily…“The fear of low oil prices drives some companies to say that subsidies should be sustained,” Hofmeister said. “And my point of view is that with high oil prices such subsidies are not necessary.” [National Journal, 2/11/11]

Study: “Oil Production Is Among the Most Heavily Subsidized Businesses.” “An examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process… According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.” [New York Times, 7/4/10]

Biggest Oil Companies’ Profits Continue to Skyrocket. Exxon Mobil reported a 53 percent increase in its fourth-quarter 2010 profit. Exxon Mobil’s profit in the quarter was $9.25 billion compared with $6.05 billion in the period a year ago. Chevron’s fourth-quarter earnings surged 72 percent. Chevron reported a profit of $5.3 billion, up from $3.07 billion a year earlier. Royal Dutch Shell PLC reported that fourth quarter profit more than tripled from a year earlier. Fourth quarter net profit was $6.79 billion, up from $1.96 billion in the same period a year earlier. [New York Times, 1/31/11; Wall Street Journal, 1/28/11; Associated Press, 2/3/11]

Biggest Oil Companies Made Nearly $1 TRILLION in Profits Over the Last 10 Years. The big five oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell—made a total profit of nearly $1 trillion over the past decade. [Center for American Progress, 1/31/11]