Senate Democrats

Outside The Beltway: Local Media Continues To Highlight Senate Democratic Efforts To End Taxpayer Subsidies For Oil Companies, Use Money To Cut The Deficit

Baltimore Sun: Cardin Asks Oil Companies To Give Up Tax Breaks. “On the day before the heads of the country’s five largest oil companies are due for a Senate Finance Committee grilling on tax subsidies, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin is asking them to admit that they no longer need the breaks. The Maryland Democrat is a co-sponsor of the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, which supporters say will save the federal government $4 billion annually. The so-called Big Five – Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, Chevron, Shell and BP America – have reported a total $36 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2011. ‘At a time of soaring gas prices and record deficits, the five most profitable oil companies do not need, or deserve, a handout from the American taxpayer,’ Cardin said in a statement.” LINK

Detroit Free Press: Stabenow Takes Aim At Oil Subsidies. “On the eve of a congressional hearing, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow and four other Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee today asked oil company executives to acknowledge they no longer need subsidies that reduce the amount of federal taxes their companies pay. The oil company executives are expected to take part in a Finance Committee hearing on tax incentives and fuel costs on Thursday. The senators who signed a letter to the chief executives of BP America, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell said with oil prices high, they can make billions of dollars a week in profits while still getting billions of dollars a year in subsidies. ‘We have families that are paying as much for gasoline at the pump as they are paying for their groceries to put food on the table,’ Stabenow said.” LINK

Mid Hudson News: Schumer Backs Repeal Of Tax Breaks For Big Oil. “US Senator Charles Schumer announced his support for a proposal to repeal $4 billion in annual tax breaks to the largest oil companies. Schumer’s announcement comes with Hudson Valley gas prices well over $4 per gallon, but now beginning to pull back, slightly, in some places. ‘Decades ago when oil was $17 a barrel, it made sense to give companies an incentive to explore and produce; that’s when these things were passed,’ he said Wednesday. ‘But, with oil hovering around $100 a barrel and Big Oil reaping record it defies logic to spend billions of dollars every year to tax giveaways to Big Oil.’” LINK

The Mitchell Daily Republic: Tim Johnson Calls For End To Oil Subsidies; Thune Disagrees. “Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., called for an end to taxpayer subsidies for oil and natural gas companies Wednesday, saying instead the United States should invest in further ethanol production and improving the infrastructure to deliver ethanol to market. ‘High-priced oil threatens both our energy and economic security. We have a homegrown solution — ethanol,’ Johnson told reporters. ‘It’s time to end the $4 billion a year of taxpayer giveaway to big oil. Oil companies don’t need any help.’” LINK

Coventry Patch: Whitehouse Calls for End to Tax Breaks for Big Oil. “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.’” LINK

The Clark Fork Chronicle: Tester Plan Ends $4 Billion In Taxpayer Subsidies To Big Oil Executives. “After introducing new legislation to hold the world’s largest energy giants accountable to American taxpayers, Senator Jon Tester is calling for end to the $4 billion in ‘taxpayer handouts’ that allow the nation’s top Big Oil executives to pull in billions in profit every year. America’s five largest oil giants receive more than $4 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies every year. The same companies recently reported profits of $4 billion every week.” LINK

KTVZ News Oregon: Wyden, Senators Take Aim At Oil Speculators. “Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) led a bipartisan group of 17 senators Wednesday in calling on federal regulators to expedite long-stalled rules to rein in excessive Wall Street speculation in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures and other energy commodities. They said numerous experts have concluded that excessive trading in oil futures is causing oil price volatility unrelated to supply-and-demand fundamentals, and contributing to rising gas prices. According to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) own report, speculators hold futures and options on more than 258 million barrels of oil. That is more than one-third of the amount in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” LINK

WNEW News Michigan: Sen. Stabenow, Colleagues Target Oil CEOs. “Sen. Debbie Stabenow and four other Democratic Senators sent a letter to the CEOs of the Big Five oil companies urging them to admit that they no longer need taxpayer-funded subsidies. The heads of the country’s five largest oil companies are scheduled to testify Friday before the Finance Committee.” LINK

KELO News South Dakota: Johnson’s Plan To Save At Pump. “South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson has a plan to save you some money at the pump. He’s co-sponsoring legislation that would extend ethanol and alternative fuel tax credits through 2016. In addition to lowering the cost of fuel, Johnson says it would create jobs. ‘A home-grown solution: ethanol. This is not a new answer but is one that we must continue to invest in for the future,’ S.D. Senator Tim Johnson said.” LINK

KRMS News Michigan: McCaskill Backs Bill Cutting Oil Company Tax Breaks. “With gas prices on the rise and federal debt worries, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s announced her support for legislation that would help address our fiscal crisis by clawing back tax giveaways to the most profitable companies in the world.” LINK