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GOP Senators Block Repeal Of Oil Subsidies

May 19, 2011 by  

GOP Senators block repeal of oil subsidiesSenate Republicans have blocked a bill that aimed to eliminate tax subsidies for the five biggest oil companies in the United States.

On May 17, the Democratic-led chamber voted 52-48 in favor of the legislation, which is called the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act. However, the law — which was heavily endorsed by President Barack Obama — fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the measure.

Nearly all GOP Senators and three Democrats voted against the bill, which was designed to repeal $21 billion in tax subsidies for the top five U.S. oil companies over the next 10 years, according to The Washington Post. Many Democrats have claimed that profitable oil companies must make sacrifices to help reduce the national deficit, while GOP lawmakers argued that the bill would hinder job growth in the oil industry. They also refuted claims that the tax subsidies would somehow lower the prices at the gas pumps.

"This is not an energy strategy, this is a public relations strategy, this is a 'how do I get re-elected' strategy," said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) of the Democrat-backed bill, quoted by The Associated Press. "It does not solve the problem or the pain that Americans are feeling at the pump."

Responding to the legislation proposal, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called it "misguided, unwarranted and ultimately counterproductive," according to the news provider. 

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  • bozak

  • Doc Sarvis

    Just goes to show you how the GOP is in the pocket of big industry. I don’t think this legislation had anything to do with helping us out at the pump but was largely aimed at removing a subsidy we pay to the big oil companies which they obviously don’t need. They are raking in record or near record profits and we are still subsidising them. And shame on those three Democrats who joined the Republicans on this.

    • Laurie, Haslet, TX

      WRONG – ITS NOT A SUBSIDY – its a tax break.
      They are not GIVEN money by the Government, they are keeping money THEY HAVE ALREADY EARNED and using to pay for exploration and drilling. Yet- THIS ADMINISTRATION is DENYING them DRILLING PERMITS! Working against the OIL COMPANIES and the AMERICAN PEOPLE!

      THE FEDS are screwing with us – GAS PRICES are going up because we keep devaluing our OWN DOLLAR. Its down 30% and oil is traded in dollars only. Devalue our dollar and costs go up.

      THe DEMS pulled this SAME BS back in Dec – claiming that KEEPING the currrent tax rate – would result in extra EARNINGS?PROFITSfor the rich that they do not have YOU DO

      • Nail Buster

        to those who complain about big oil profits, large profits against how much finichal base, how much do they have invested in oil and gas, leases, equipment, libality insurance and on and on. shell with four billion in leases on the north slope and the commie EPA will not issue a permit to drill? people we are being screwed by the thugs in DC (dumb cunts) Ever wonder who will be first on the court house steps when the lights go out crying you have to fix it today! wake up folks our biggest enemy is 535 stupids in DC and an even dummer president.

        • independant thinker

          “to those who complain about big oil profits, large profits against how much finichal base,”

          Exactly what is their ROI (return on investment). When the amount of investment (cost of doing business) goes up your profit will go up if your ROI remains the same %.

          • Jana

            Its less than our mining industry thats for sure. Gold and silver have a much higher return, as well as getting these same tax breaks.
            To pick on one industry without doing it to all, sounds like a ploy to try and force us off of oil.
            If they want us off oil, then encourage NOT discourage new technologies.

        • Mick

          Can’t argue with you there Nail Buster.
          We have some of the largest oil depositin the world in SD,ND and MONTANA and our government is stopping the drilling.
          They complain about the danger to our waters when drilling in the gulf and under water in other places but still permits it and there we are with much oil inland and they have no intention of opening its extraction and continue to pay the Arab countries for thier oil…..
          Come on people wake the hell up .

    • crystal

      Doc you’re going to have to give pure evidence on your opinion. I actually sat down and watched the Senators debate this oil topic this past Tuesday, which shows more than what normally comes out on regular liberal news. What I didn’t know were the two following facts that come from both the Democrats side and the Republicans side. First, the big five oil companies each pay $68,000,000.00 per day to the U.S. government. What does our government do with that money? Second, one of the tax breaks they receive is in the line of discovery and research. The problem with the discovery and research tax break is that they are NOT required to prove that they actually did any. Now there’s a tax break that needs to be corrected!

    • Ellen

      Most of the tax breaks that big oil gets are available to most US companies, so this is not a give-away to big oil. If the govt wants the profitable companies to pay more, they need to look at Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc – the companies with big profit margins. Instead, they pick on industries with small profit margins (5% range) like big oil and health insurers and tell us those industries are cheating us. Can we stop all this stupidity and class warfare?

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Why do you think this is so bad? The coal, gold, silver and uranium mine pay no fees according to the news I saw!!! The oil companies pay 1/8 the value of the production on federal lands to the federal government in royalties!! In some states the taxes paid by consumers to the federal government are higher per gallon than the oil companies profits!!!

  • BigBadJohn

    Normal for the GOP.

    They pay lip service to balancing the budget but block all attempts to do so.

    the GOP is a puppet party of the rich and powerful. If you work for a living, voting for the GOP is voting against your own best interest.

  • Raggs

    Give this a day and obama will sign an executive order.. Afterall who needs congress?

    • eddie47d

      I don’t believe this bill would have made much of a difference at the pump. Yet it would have been terriffic symbolism against the oil gougers. We love feeding our dependency to the oil dragons while they hold us hostage. All while they earn record wealth. We are scared to break this choke hold from these private companies when they have more control over us than our own government.

      • Raggs

        ED… We already have way too much government intervention even at a private level… The “BIG OIL” is not the reason the price of fuel is high, it is however the printing of billions of dollars for the buy-outs of banks, auto industries and not to mention UNIONS, the failed stimulus and the media… If the oil companies are stopped from making a profit with higher taxes WHO do you think pay’s the price?.. WE do!!!!

    • crystal

      We need Congress. What we don’t need is an ill-experienced child in the Oval Office giving executive orders as if he is “King Obama.”

  • http://charter howe

    It would help if you got some additional facts about our situation. Here we are casting stones instead of getting engaged and working together for a solution. The democratic lawyers in congress are loving every minute of these devisive arguments, because they cannot defend what they are doing. I have no oil stock, I have no love for big oil, but creating class warfare to penalize oil companies does not encourage drilling and expanding oil operations offshore or in Alaska as RINO Sen Murkowski (R-Alaska) has strongly suggested dozens of times during floor debate. Oil company profits are ranked 17th in the country for corporate profit by the big 5 oil companies, so what about taking all big corporation subsidies like Obama’a good buddies at the multi-millionaire GE plant that did not pay any taxes in 2010. Class warfare is not a solution and will not solve the price at the pump problem. The GOP has its dirty laundry but its the party of paychecks while the democrats seem to be the party of food stamps. The GOP has certainly shown they are for small and large business to support the free market system for creating wealth while the democrats have been legislating for more taxes and regulations that kill small and large business which in turn costs jobs. There is a sharp ideological difference between the parties and until the insanity and stupidity stops there will never be compromise and when we run out of time, we will become a third rate banana republic like Greece, Cuba, Mexico etc. If you are engaged and you are an honorable person, you could never come up with some of these rediculous accusations just to vent your ignorance on someone else. When I was in the military their famous last words were, LEAD, FOLLOW or get the HELL OUT OF THE WAY. Honesty and integrity still means something. By the way if gas goes to 5 bucks a gal I can no longer afford gas.

    • CJ

      And people think “Big Oil’s” profits ONLY come from gasoline sales, which is a small fraction of their profit. When you consider the use of oil in making stuff like plastics, cosmetics, textiles, AND FERTALIZERS then the critics need to decide which of these they want to give up or make less of. The tax break is a small cost to the return. After all, a fine is a tax for doing wrong, and a tax is a fine for doing well.

    • eddie47d

      Stones are cast everyday on this site and mostly against Obama. Then there are the gang bangers who spread falsehoods about unions. Sure class warfare is cheap and solves precious little but they do it all the time right here in print. I agree it’s stupid but it’s hard to get around the lack of integrity and the dishonesty from so many posters. They have turned it into a feeding frenzy so the battles continue.

      • Push comes to shove


        You are exactly right we all have distortions of the facts, we see things according to our values, upbringing, education. You my friend are no exception, as i have read many of your comments. It has always been said ‘there are 2 side to every agrument and the truth lies somewhere in the middle’.

        On my side i say that Unions used to have a place and time where they were necessary, but in todays world with all the gov’t regulations they are no longer needed, as that was the reason for thier beginnings (unsafe work conditions). All they do today is drive up the cost of goods and services. They also, in some states, force you to join if you want to work (i.e. Teachers in Wisconsin), but it is not a previledge to work it is, in my opinion, a right to be able to earn a living in a profession of your chosing without being strongarmed.

        • Mick


        • Kinetic1

          I would say that the tax breaks the oil industry receives are also outdated. In the early days they could not afford the risks involved in exploration, but that is no longer the case. All businesses come with a degree of risk and few are given the Federal safety net that the oil industry has. Time has come to stand on their own two feet.

          • Push comes to shove

            I agree, end corporate welfare for ALL companies (OIL, GAS, farmers, other nations, et al), but at the same time gov’t needs to stop the embargo on drilling and exploration in the Gulf, Alaska, Dakotas.

      • crystal

        Eddie, you remind me of the hippie the other day that tried to burn the American flag (usually they get away with it). This time however, the guy had to have the police (whom the liberals hate), come in and save his butt.

        • independant thinker

          crystal…………..The liberrals only hate the police to the extent they cannot get the police to enforce their radical, freedom robbing, subversive ideas.

          • eddie47d

            Oh Really, now that was just brilliant. Indulge me more Crystal since I have never burned a flag.I do “burn” when corporates try to sell us their snake oil and call it capitalism. You seem to drink at their fountain of pious greed and must be loving it. Do you hold hands with Big Pharma and Lehman Bros. too?

          • http://?? Joe H.

            I doubt she holds hands with them, HOWEVER, I DO believe you have a brown stain on your nose and face from Nobummers B-HIND!!!

          • eddie47d

            That was so Joe appropriate!


    Considering how the subsidies are structured and then the coparison as to how the mining industry susidies are structured and then Ag susidies are handled this oil subsidy is minor when you look at how the oil companies are taxed. Understand energy products are world wide, billions of dollars in and barrels of oil flow around the world, cost will be governed by supply and that is dictated by speculation as to availiabilty, we are competing against the rest of those indutrialized nations for this commodity and as long as they continue to improve their standard of living the competiton will only become more intense. Reality is we need to make oil production a vialble industry and stop beating up any industry that provides a lot of tax money and a needed product.

  • jopa

    These subsidies came into play back in the 30s when there were hundreds of small struggling oil companies that needed help.However the subsidies remain in place and the huge giants of the oil industry are just ripping off today’s taxpayers.Big oil gives our representatives a few million in bribes for their re-election but get a $21 billion dollar return.Time to break up the monopolies again.

    • Average Joe

      Do you mean…like the Union monopolies? Like the ones trying to strongarm Boeing through the NLRB ( because the plant is in South Carolina… a right to work state that just happened not to support Obabma)? The ones trying to close down the Boeing plant in South Carolina who has spent over 2 billion dollars to set up a plant and add over a thousand jobs to their their economy? Are you talking about those monopolies?

      • Push comes to shove

        B-E-A-utifully put. See my comments about unions above.

  • Bitter Libertarian

    Allow me to offer this thought on the matter. When the Federal Govt Gives a subsidy, or a tax break to one specific industry, EVERY AMERICAN & BUSINESS contributes to that directly or indirectly whether its right, wrong, the competition, or whomever pays FEDERAL TAXES.

    One instrance where this “redistribution of money” took place was the American RR Industry. They actually put out a short movie on how the tax dollars they paid were used against them for the Airline & Auto Industry! What a shame too, it was a money making, town building, industry building mode of transportation that was crushed by federal funding to its competing modes of transportation.

    Fast forward to today and you have my tax dollars going to a private industry. What if I CHOOSE to limit my consumption of petrol products, or use solar, wind, wood, biofuels, etc? The Petrol Industry STILL GETS MY MONEY.

    That is a RIGGED MARKET! That is NOT capitolism under any circumstances. Follow this money and you’ll find that BOTH sides of the aisle are taking campaign contributions from this RIGGED SYSTEM, and who pays? We the People pay.

    For the sake of arguement I will call that “Political Plunder”

    –verb (used with object)
    1. to rob of goods or valuables by open force, as in war, hostile raids, brigandage, etc.: to plunder a town.
    2. to rob, despoil, or fleece: to plunder the public treasury.
    3. to take wrongfully, as by pillage, robbery, or fraud: to plunder a piece of property.

    If I dont pay, they eventually come with force to take my property…so they (the Govt)can continue taking from me a private citizen and give to a private company..

    1. a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

  • msm

    has anyone (especially the govt) considered that if we were to do away with oil everything else we would have to do away with? I.e. the lousy plastic bags we now get in the supermarkets etc, our computers, tires (takes about 8 qts of crude to make a tire), our storage containers (small and large, that break because they’re so cheaply made), and everything else that is now made out of plastic…yard/farm equipment, our cars, home windows, fabrics, yarns, etc.

    We no longer have much in the way of production of steel, etc because we have shut down those “awful” polluting factories (despite the fact scrubbers can be installed to virtually make them non-polluting) and can’t make much that is of lasting value since the Chinese have figured out how to make crap that we now “have” to buy because there isn’t much else in the way of options. My husband looks for the “old” stuff made of metal because fortunately being an (unemployed) industrial engineer he knows how to create parts from the “scrap” metal he has saved but not everyone can do that. frustrating buying cheap screwdrivers, drill bits etc that sometimes you only get one use out of because they are so lousy.

    and gosh we no longer want to make anything from wood that might stand up as well because we want all those trees in Colorado to die off to the beetle…the enviros would rather we let the forest rot than to make good use of anything that should be culled. where did the idea of using and relenishing go out the window? the govt and enviros don’t care…its all about power as long as they can live extravegantly in their world. why not cull the trees that need to be culled (boy talk about a make work program there) so the forest can thrive and replant when needed. funny how the federal forestry dept will work with farmers/landowners to clean up their own lands and even help pay some of the costs (the foresters actually come in and mark the trees to be removed and then educate the owner how to thin the rest of the trees in the next section) … why won’t they do this on public lands (that they no longer want us humans using for camping, hiking etc…they’ve whittled what we can use way down)…when they have a good forest fire come through it is far more devestating and unusable for the next thousand years where as had they taken care of the forrest it would replenish itself and be productive on a continual basis.

    so gas…well if the tax breaks are taken away guess who gets to pay the difference…we do! As others have said they aren’t getting money from the Feds, its just money they have collected that they have not paid to the feds…as we are seeing at the gas pumps, the grocery stores, clothing stores, etc…the manufacturer does not eat the costs…they pass them on to us.

    watch out when this Obamacare actually goes through and can’t be reversed…my relatives in Canada hate their system and ours will only be worse. oh and who is going to pay for your increased property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, etc to pay for all this…not too long ago we heard about people in Texas losing their homes because they couldn’t afford the outrageous property taxes that they keep raising to pay for the schools…from what I understand are among some of the worst educated in the nation…why would we want to pay for something that is such a poor investment…kids need a good education so that means qualified teachers need to be hired, get rid of the tenure system because it only keeps the duds. get rid of the unions I’m not real inclined to want to pay for someone’s bloated benefits when it has no benefit to me, i know i will never get near those kind of benefits and I have an unemployed husband that I pay for his insurance. we don’t live high on the hog…no boats, trailers, atv’s, no vacations. I have a job and he takes care of the family farm (but no income)…we work but our dollar isn’t going very far. I’m growing my own garden to save on the food bill. I don’t shop at places like whole foods, etc. I don’t buy new clothes very often, mainly go to the thrift stores, swap meets and garage sales. our only downfall is we like to go out for a nice meal once in a while.

    so i’d rather they didn’t pass down any more costs and the greedy feds need to cut back rather than telling Americans they need to cut back. some can’t cut back any more than they are. the illegals are living better than a lot of those who are legal and paying taxes…what’s wrong with that picture!

    • independant thinker

      While much of your post is true you can still find good quality American and European made hand tools if you are willing to pay the price and spend the time searching for them.

  • jopa

    Average Joe No I was talking about the oil company monopolies.I am pro Boeing but I will not disclose why at this time.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Gee jopa, how long have you lived in the town where Boeing is and how hard are you praying to get a job with them??

  • JJM Libertarian

    Don’t you realize that ending subsidies increases costs which increases our costs for fuel?? However, I do believe that ALL subsidies shoud be ended, suck up the higher costs and let competition determine who the winners are.
    Offshore drilling is progressing at an unacceptably low rate due to the continued Permitorium. I am still waiting for my 1st GOM offshore job for over a year now.
    Extend Leases – what good will this do if permits only trickle thru? If I was Shell (and others) I would consider demanding a refund of my lease purchase if I am not allowed to drill it!!

  • http://com i41

    The f–cking dumbocraps think the offsjore drilling are the answer, the USA Treasury doen’t get any royalities. Every time a barrel of oil comes off federal lands the fed get 18.65% royality tax, coal is taxed at 12.65 fed royality. The Treasury gets nothing off of gold, silver, or uranium when mined on federal lands. Why do you think China gotthe right to mine uranium in the largest uranium deposit in the world which is out in Wyo, thanks to the niggardly muslim and all dumbocraps approval, they will not pay royalities to USA. Same goes for gold and silver that the all the other forieng coutries that have been mining USA paying USA no royalities. Between the envior s–t birds stopping all oil and coal use, which would be putting royalities in the Treasury to the tune of $19.85 per barrel of oil, as well as what would come off of each ton of coal. Still think the marxist/communist socialist dumbocraps are thinking of USA dollars strength and its citizens welfare! Any libatard bastardd that can defend the dems and Onumnutts behaviors and actions as American is getting destroyed by their idoit thinking and mindset that has always failed and only made USA worse.


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