Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is calling for an end to oil tax breaks, with plans for a procedural vote on Monday. While the American public wants an end to the billions of dollars in Big Oil handouts, the latest House Republican budget plan once again delivers massive tax breaks to the richest 1 percent and preserves the huge giveaways to the oil industry.
With gas prices skyrocketing — they reached their highest record in the month of March — and oil companies raking in a record $137 billion in profits in 2011, will the Grand Oil Party stand up for the American families bearing the burden of high gas prices or the oil companies bankrolling their campaign coffers?
The Big Five oil companies made a record $137 billion in profits in 2011 while continuing to benefit from high gas prices
- The big five oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell—combined to make a record-high $137 billion in profits in 2011—up 75 percent from 2010—and have made more than $1trillion in profits from 2001 through 2011.
- Oil companies are reducing the supply of gasoline available for U.S. markets by closing refineries in the East. According to the Energy Information Agency, ConocoPhillips and Sunoco have closed two refineries in the Philadelphia area, with another expected to close later this summer. Additionally, a major Caribbean export refinery that supplies the East Coast closed last year.
- A recent CAP analysis found that for every penny more consumers pay at the pump Big Oil profits increase by another $200 million.
- A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2011 found that the repeal of five key oil industry tax breaks would lead to little or no increase of gasoline prices.Despite claims of the “drill here, drill now” crowd, domestic production of oil is up, domestic demand is down, yet gas prices continue to rise
- In 2011 U.S. oil production reached its highest level in eight years, yet gas prices continue to rise.
- For the first time in over a decade, imports accounted for less than half the oil consumed in America in 2010. In 2011 import dependence fell to its lowest level in 16 years.
- A recent Associated Press Fact Check analysis found no correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump.Big Oil makes record profits, then doles out millions in campaign contributions to Republicans, who then vote to protect Big Oil handouts
- The big five oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell—combined made a record-high $137 billion in profits in 2011.
- Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has already contributed over $20 million in federal campaign contributions this election cycle, with 88 percent of all Big Oil contributions going to Republicans.
- Oil and gas companies spent $146,017,552 on lobbying last year, making them the third-highest spending industry.
- Last year the Senate failed to end billions of dollars in oil tax breaks by a vote of 52-48, with the Big Oil backers receiving $21 million in career oil contributions compared to the $5.4 million received by those who voted to end these Big Oil handouts.
- Since 2006 Senate Republicans have taken $13,818,359 from the oil and gas industry compared to the $3,332,251 received by Democrats. On average, Senate Republicans have taken four times the amount in Big Oil contributions of Democrats.
- Since 2006 the Senate has received $17,240,960 in Big Oil money and $30,116,264 in career contributions, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Listed below are oil and gas contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more to Senators between the 2006-2012 election cycles and over their career, using data from the Center for Responsive Politics:
|Last Name||First Name||Party||State||Oil & Gas Since 2006||Oil & Gas Career|