On March 29 a minority of U.S. senators blocked legislation to end tax subsidies to the nation’s five biggest oil companies.
According to the Congressional Research Service, ending these tax breaks would have “little to no impact” on gas prices, but maintaining the handouts to BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips will cost taxpayers an estimated $24 billion over the next ten years.
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune stated, “Today’s vote is the latest reminder of what we knew all along: big oil companies and their lackeys in Congress will do whatever it takes to squeeze every penny possible out of American families, whether it’s shirking taxes or price-gouging at the gas pump.
“It is obscene that a handful of wealthy oil executives are demanding billions in handouts from the government while ordinary Americans pay their fair share of taxes on top of four-dollar-a-gallon gas. And, it is shameful that a minority of obstructionist senators are doing big oil’s bidding against the will of their constituents – the majority of whom support ending unfair tax subsidies for big oil.
“Big oil companies and speculators who are driving up prices at the pump don’t need any more of our help. We need our leaders to focus on real solutions to break our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels, and invest in clean energy solutions to ease Americans’ pain at the pump and create jobs. Unfortunately, the Senate missed an opportunity today to take an important step in moving beyond oil.”