Senate Democrats

Outside The Beltway, Local Media Continues To Highlight Senate Democratic Efforts To End Taxpayer-Funded Subsidies To Big Oil

Salt Lake Tribune Editorial: “The Democrats Are Right, And Hatch Is Not Only Wrong, He Is Being Downright Dishonest If He Keeps Defending The Tax Breaks Even As He Decries The Size Of The National Debt.”

Asbury Park, NJ Editorial: Oil Company Claims “Absolutely Embarrassing,” “Take The Breaks Away From the Big Oil Companies.”

Albert Lea, MN Editorial: “Use The Money Where It Is Really Needed”

Salt Lake Tribune Editorial (UT): Republicans “Downright Dishonest” To Talk Debt and Defend Big Oil Subsidies. “U.S. Tax Code benefits that oil companies seek out with at least as much vigor as any new pocket of petroleum mean higher profits for the firms, and lower revenues for the United States Treasury, amounting to some $4.4 billion a year. President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate want to end those tax breaks. Hatch does not. On this matter, the Democrats are right, and Hatch is not only wrong, he is being downright dishonest if he keeps defending the tax breaks even as he decries the size of the national debt.” LINK

Great Falls Tribune (MT): Baucus Calls For End To Big Oil Tax Breaks Big Oil. “Max Baucus told the heads of America’s biggest oil companies Thursday that they should stop getting billions of dollars in tax breaks because the country’s better off using the money to reduce the national debt than padding the profits of Fortune 500 companies. ‘We can put this money to better use, I believe, and we should,’ the Montana Democrat and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee told the assembled executives at a Capitol Hill hearing. ‘We should use this money to reduce our deficit instead of putting the burden on seniors and our children’s future. … We have to make choices. None of them are easy.’” LINK

Somerset County Daily-American Editorial (PA): Big Oil Tax Breaks Are Un-American. “Gasoline has been hovering around $4 a gallon, but big oil companies think the taxpayers should continue to subsidize the industry. It would be one thing if they were using the subsidies to expand production and lower prices at the pump. But they are not. The oil company executives testified before Congress that they don’t need incentives for oil and gas exploration and production. They spend most of their profits to purchase their own stock and boost their dividends. Congress should rescind the tax breaks that account for the $20 billion for the oil industry.” LINK

Albert Lea Tribune Editorial (MN): Time For A Change On Oil Subsidies. “the reality is that handing out fewer tax breaks to oil companies would mean either fewer tax dollars coming from everyone else or a bite out of the deficit. So the question facing Congress and the American people is whether they are better off giving their dollars to wealthy oil companies or conserving them for larger needs. For most, the choice is obvious: Use the money where it is really needed, not where it just adds to an already giant profit.” LINK

Asbury Park Press Editorial (NJ): No More Tax Breaks For Oil Companies. “There is no way the oil company executives can claim they are just regular Joes, trying to get ahead in a hard world. That claim is more accurately made by the people who are hoping they have enough gas in their cars to get to and from work until the next payday. It’s absolutely embarrassing. Take the breaks away from the big oil companies. Use the money to fuel other programs.” LINK

Lompoc Record Editorial (CA): The Dark Humor Of Oil Prices. “It was, at times, laughable to listen to the oil CEOs, one of whom whined that Congress ought not to ‘punish our industry for doing its job well.’ Talk about non sequiturs. What the well-dressed oil boss meant was that U.S. consumers paying record-high prices at the pump should continue to pony up about $4 billion in a year in what amounts to a taxpayer subsidy of an industry that does what it pleases, when it pleases and to whom it pleases. If the oil industry is in search of sympathy, they won’t get it from American motorists stressed by pump prices that may soon jump above $5 a gallon.”  LINK

ABC 2 News, Baltimore (MD): Cardin Speaks Up Against Breaks For Oil Companies. “Higher gas prices mean cutting back for most of us. But it turns out, big oil companies are still banking big money with some tax breaks. Now U.S. Senator, Ben Cardin wants to even the score. On Monday, Cardin held a press conference calling for the passage of legislation that would end $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies.” LINK

NBC 10 News, Providence (RI): Congressional Delegation Wants End To Oil Subsidies. “As gasoline prices float at about $4 a gallon, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed and Rep. David Cicilline stood in front of the ExxonMobil terminal in the Port of Providence to demand action. ‘While Rhode Islanders are paying over $4 a gallon for gas, we are giving the oil industry $4 billion in tax subsidies a year. It’s extraordinary,’ Reed said. Whitehouse echoed those words. ‘At the same time Rhode Islanders are getting clobbered at the pump by big oil, big oil is making the biggest profits it’s practically ever made. Just in the first three months of this year, the Big 5 made $33 billion dollars in profits,’ Whitehouse said.” LINK

ABC News (MI): Senator Debbie Stabenow Discusses Gas Prices. “Fresh from questioning oil company executives at a hearing Thursday, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow stopped in Mid-Michigan Friday to talk gas prices. The Senator was discussing efforts to combat rising gas prices and ways to help those oil companies become part of the solution. ‘I think it’s fair as we’re asking everybody to sacrifice, to be part of what we need to do to pay down the national debt, that we be saying to the oil companies, We are asking you to support taking 1 percent of your profits and putting it towards America being secure,’ Stabenow said.” LINK

Saginaw News (MI): Senator Debbie Stabenow: Oil Companies Should Share Their Profits To Pay Down The National Debt. “U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, has an idea to reduce the national debt: Make oil companies share their profits.  … ‘We are asking (oil companies) to take 1 percent of their profits and put it towards paying down our national debt,’ she said. Stabenow also advocated eliminating federal oil company subsidies.” LINK

Associated Press (MD): Md. Senator To Push For Ending Tax Breaks For Oil Companies. “Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin is pushing for an end of $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies.” LINK

KOMO News (WA): Cantwell Pushes Plan To Slash Gas Prices ‘Overnight’. “With no relief in sight at the gas pump, one of our state’s senators is going on the attack. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell says oil speculators are to blame for budget-busting prices – and she says it’s time to rein them in. As drivers wonder just how high gas prices can go, Cantwell and other lawmakers have been grilling oil company execs.” LINK

WPRI News (RI): RI Leaders Crack Down On Oil Companies. “With gas prices continuing to loom around $4 per gallon – national leaders are now considering tapping into the country’s strategic petroleum reserves and investigating Wall Street speculators. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said, ‘Undoubtedly, Rhode Islanders are being clobbered at the pump and something needs to be done.’” LINK