With gas prices nearing $4 per gallon nationwide and oil industry profits nearing record highs, Senators Reid, McCaskill and Menendez today proposed legislation that will repeal $21 billion dollars in corporate welfare for oil companies. Environment America policy analyst Daniel Gatti issued this statement in response:
“It is outrageous that the United States continues to provide taxpayer-subsidized welfare for Big Oil. Oil companies represent some of the most profitable and the most environmentally destructive corporations in human history. Oil dependence causes catastrophic damage to our beaches and coastlines, pollutes the air that we breathe, and puts our climate in peril. We commend Senators Reid, McCaskill and Menendez for their proposal to finally end these dirty tax subsidies.
“These taxpayer handouts encourage more drilling, spilling and pollution and are especially outrageous at a time of drastic budget cuts that will have devastating consequences for our public health and our environment. The fact that these subsidies remain is a testimony to the absurd priorities of Big Oil’s allies in Congress, who are more interested in enriching their corporate sponsors than enacting serious energy policies that will reduce pollution, save consumers money, and get us off oil.
“Ending taxpayer handouts to oil companies is a critical first step, but it will not stop the pain that Americans are experiencing at the pump, nor the devastating environmental consequences of our addiction to oil. The next step is to invest in clean energy technologies that help our families deal with the oil crisis through high-tech vehicles, public transportation, and clean energy investments that can put this country on the path to getting off oil for good."