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Oil Lobby Says Obama’s Call To End Big Oil Handouts Is ‘Discriminatory’

By Rebecca Leber on February 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

"Oil Lobby Says Obama’s Call To End Big Oil Handouts Is ‘Discriminatory’"

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The oil lobby American Petroleum Institute weighed in on President Obama’s corporate tax reform that closes an array of tax loopholes, including $4 billion in subsidies for the oil industry. Not surprisingly, API is unhappy. API President Jack Gerard played victim, calling the plan “discriminatory” against an industry that “receives not one subsidy”:

One day after the Obama administration unveiled a sweeping corporate tax reform plan, the oil and gas industry’s top lobbyist went on the attack against the president’s proposal.

Calling it “discriminatory,” Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said the administration’s outline was more of a “Swiss cheese approach that we’re trying to get rid of in this country.”

“The industry receives not one subsidy,” Gerard claimed. “It takes tax deductions the same or similar to what all other American companies get to recover their costs of doing business.”

Here’s a fact for Gerard: tax deductions are subsidies, as API has previously admitted. In one API document, the organization discussed “subsidies for alternative fuels” including “preferential tax treatment.”

Here’s another fact: the industry receives a whopping $7 billion in tax breaks each year.

Gerard also claimed big oil pays one of the highest effective tax rates, and yet Exxon Mobil – the most profitable oil company – paid a 17.6 percent federal effective tax, lower than the average American. The company paid zero taxes to the federal government in 2009. The oil industry is fighting to keep its handouts, despite posting record-breaking profits of $137 billion in 2011.

So far, it seems like it’s American families who are being discriminated against, in favor of Big Oil.

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