Senate Democrats

Will Republicans Who Supported Ending Taxpayer- Funded Oil Subsidies In The Past Vote Against Ending Them Today?

NEW VIDEO Shows Leading Republicans Expressing Support For Repealing Subsidies For Oil Companies

Snowe: Subsidies Are “Unnecessary” And “Reckless”

Thune: “If In Fact They Are Making Such Enormous Profit, Perhaps They Don’t Need The Support Of The Tax Incentives That Are Given To Them By The American Taxpayer”

Collins: We Should Not “Continue to Subsidize The Oil And Gas Industry”

Senator Collins Said We Should Not “Continue to Subsidize the Oil & Gas Industry” While Taxpayers Struggle to Pay Bills. “With net profits of a single oil company reaching almost 10 billion dollars in a single quarter, we should not expect taxpayers struggling to pay their bills to continue to subsidize the oil and gas industry. Congress should repeal unnecessary tax breaks for big oil companies and use the billions of dollars instead to fund the remaining proposals in my 10-Point Energy Plan.” [Collins Press Release, 4/22/08]

Senator Mark Kirk Supported Nixing Big Oil Subsidies; They’re “Doing Just Fine on Their Own.” On C-Span’s Washington Journal, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) broke with his party and called for cutting Big Oil’s subsidies, explaining that oil companies are “doing just fine on their own”: Q: Why can’t we start collecting royalties, finally, from the oil companies? Or do something about the subsidies that these very wealthy corporations have? Why can’t we get rid of these tax havens? Why can’t we talk about those things? Why can’t we put those on the table as well? KIRK: I think we should. In the House of Representatives, I voted to wipe out many of the oil company subsidies. They’re doing just fine on their own. I think that many of the corporate welfare programs are misplaced. [Think Progress, 3/1/11]

Senator Olympia Snowe: At a Time of Record Oil Profits and High Consumer Prices, Tax Breaks for Big Oil Are “Not Only Unnecessary, They Are Reckless.” Snowe said in a release, “In a time of record profits for oil companies and skyrocketing energy costs for consumers, tax breaks for the oil industry are not only unnecessary, they are reckless.  It would be far wiser to redirect the tax expenditures from these provision to incentives, such as the development of alternative and renewable energy sources from products that are developed, grown and manufactured domestically, so that the current energy crisis can be the last one.”  [Snowe Press Release, 4/26/06]

Thune: If Oil Companies Are Making Record Profits Then They Don’t Need Tax Incentives. Thune said in a floor speech,  “If in fact they are making such enormous profits then perhaps they don’t need the support and the tax incentives that are given to them by the American tax payer.” [Thune Floor Speech, 4/25/06]

·         Thune Authored Bill To Suspend Oil Subsidies, Called Them Unnecessary. In a 2006 press release Thune said, “Senator John Thune today introduced legislation that would provide immediate relief at the gas pump to American consumers. The Gas Price Reduction Act of 2006 would suspend the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax through the end of September. The lost revenues would be reimbursed by a temporary suspension of a number of tax credits and royalty waivers currently enjoyed by the oil companies…Due to record oil profits, it is apparent many of these incentives are unnecessary. Many of these tax breaks were created years ago when the price per barrel was low and the federal government was trying to create incentives for further exploration. With the price of crude oil now at $73 per barrel, oil companies do not need taxpayer subsidized incentives to produce oil.” [Thune Release, 4/27/06]

Senator Dan Coats: “I Said Everything is on Table and That Includes Ethanol, That Includes Oil Subsidies.” “Coats said he would also be willing to discuss phasing out subsidies for oil production and ethanol – tax breaks he’s fought to maintain in the past. ‘I said everything is on the table. And that includes ethanol, that includes oil subsidies.’” [ABC News, 4/13/11]

Senator Lamar Alexander: Federal Subsidies for Coal, Oil, and Gas “May be too Expensive.” At a Department of Energy, Energy Innovation Summit, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander said, “Sometimes we get so entranced with an idea that we initiate a federal subsidy for it, and it never goes away.  We’ve done that with renewable energy, ethanol, mature sources such as coal, oil and gas. That may be too expensive.” According to Platts, “Later, on the sidelines of the conference, Alexander, the third ranking Republican in the Senate, said he may support some of President Barack Obama’s proposal to eliminate $26 billion in oil and gas tax breaks.” [, 3/2/11]

Lindsey Graham Has Supported Ending Tax Breaks for Big Oil in Past: “It is Irrational to be Allocating Around $1 Billion Per Year in Tax Dollars When Oil Companies Are Recording Record Profits.” “It is irrational to be allocating around $1 billion per year in tax dollars to assist in production at a time when oil is $124 per barrel and companies are recording record profits. The proposal also seeks royalty payments due on existing leases where royalties were not previously charged. The inability to collect royalties was a result of poor drafting of the leases during the Clinton Administration and could result in billions in payments being collected over the next 10 years. These revenues will be invested in alternative fuel technology.” [Graham Press Release, 8/1/08]