Exclusive: Since Election Day, Big Oil Lobby Dropped $3 Million On Ads To Protect Its Tax Loopholes

On election night, polluter-backed candidates lost in some of the most expensive races targeted by polluters, despite outside ad spending that tallied to $270 million.

The American Petroleum Institute already has 2014 in its sights, and it is spending aggressively to protect the oil industry’s multi-billion-dollar tax breaks. Three weeks since election day, API has spent $3 million on TV ads, according to a ThinkProgress analysis of Kantar Media’s CMAG data. That is already $1 million more than what API spent in the final two months of the election, as part of its “I’m an Energy Voter” campaign.

A bulk of the spending, $600,000, targets specific senators over Big Oil’s $4 billion annual tax breaks, all of whom are up for reelection in 2014. All but two voted in March to end oil subsidies, a vote blocked by 47 senators who have taken more than $23.5 million from the oil and gas industry.

Here is an example of one ad directed at Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA):

NARRATOR: America spoke loudly. Clearly, we want a commonsense plan to help people succeed. Senator Mark Warner can make energy a big part of improving our economy. He can choose economic growth and American jobs, not slow them with job-killing energy taxes. Let’s take advantage of America’s energy resources to power growth. American energy – not higher taxes on energy – will create jobs. Let’s get to work.

Ending the industry’s tax breaks would not affect Americans’ gas prices, or kill jobs. writes that “nonpartisan congressional analysts and industry experts say higher taxes would have little or no effect on gasoline prices.” And at the same time oil enjoyed low tax rates and earned high profits, Exxon, Shell, and BP still shed 17,500 jobs.

ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips have paid federal tax rates well below the 35 percent top corporate rate. ExxonMobil, for instance, paid a 13 percent tax rate in 2011, after drilling deductions and benefits, and 14 percent on average between 2008 and 2010.

Since November 6, the states seeing at least $20,000 worth of API ads have either a senator or governor up for reelection in 2014:

Pennsylvania: $228,530
Ohio: $203,960
*North Carolina: $165,400
*Colorado: $154,020
New York: $127,960
*Arkansas: $106,920
*Louisiana: $101,100
Michigan: $100,760
*Virginia: $74,250
Texas: $68,070
*New Mexico: 29,520
*Alaska: $19,040

*Ads specifically mention senators by name.

5 Responses to Exclusive: Since Election Day, Big Oil Lobby Dropped $3 Million On Ads To Protect Its Tax Loopholes

  1. Dirk Prophet says:

    Even if gas prices do go up as a result of ending the oil subsidies, why should I, in my efficient little car, subsidize the guy in the big truck next to me as he commutes to his white collar job?

  2. Zimzone says:

    Note they call ending a subsidy a ‘new tax’, so they must have consulted with Luntz & Norquist.
    They won’t give up, folks. They just had their posterior handed to them in this election, yet they have many more millions available to try and convince us that the most profitable industry in our Country can’t survive without subsidies.

  3. Leif says:

    A Nation that places NO VALUE on Earth’s life support systems, places NO VALUE on LIFE! Price Carbon. Stop profits from polluting the commons. Bring distributed green energy production to the communities. Bring profits to the communities. Not profits to the polluters. Money is not the operative word her. Survival for Earth’s Life Support Systems and a livable earth for the Kidders IS!
    There is no such thing as clean coal. Ship it over to China “WE the People” still get the pollution and the climatic disruption, the ecocide fossil barons still get the profits.
    Hell, I have a $120/T charge for home garbage, $50 for compost makings! Waste water fees, even “rain run off” is not free to this person. (Guide lines here?) Corpro/People deserve a bulk rate of free? They piss all over themselves at the thought of $25/ton for toxins! In fact they get my tax subsidy support in the process! Get real… Try throwing 19 pounds of paper cups out the car window for each gallon of gas you consume and report! We are talking justice here. Even Morals! Corporations are people now yet don’t respect the fiduciary common law of not polluting your neighbors land. For profit or otherwise!
    The GOP do not fund abortion. Fine. A precedent. Why must I fund, with my TAX DOLLARS, the ecocide of the PLANET!
    What is a fair price to dump tons of toxins in the pristine waters and air of the commons? I seldom see that question asked, much less answered. Ain’t we talking real money here? Cutting school lunches instead?
    Corporations are “People” now. Does not “WE the PEOPLE” mean ALL of us?
    Stop profits from the pollution of the commons.
    Humanity deserves nothing less! I demand NOTHING LESS!
    Both power and money have been conscripted by the ecocide fossil Barons… Distributed Green Energy gives both power and money back to “We the People!”

  4. olvera_m says:

    if they were “an energy voter” then they’d’v voted4Obama , duh

  5. John Steinsvold says:

    An Alternative to Capitalism (since we cannot legislate morality)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

    John Steinsvold

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
    ~ Albert Einstein