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Some Bipartisan Consensus Builds That Big Oil Gets Too Special Tax Treatment from Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014

Contacts:
Jeremy Funk, 202-470-5878
Lauren Weiner, 202-470-5870

Some Bipartisan Consensus Builds That Big Oil Gets Too Special Tax Treatment from Washington

As President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget Seeks Elimination of $4 Billion in Big Oil Subsidies, a Tax Reform Plan from Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp Would Get Rid Of Some Big Oil Tax Gimmicks

AUFC Calls On House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to Build On Camp’s Proposal to Roll Back Big Oil Industry Giveaways, Hold a Hearing on Why the Industry Needs $4 Billion a Year in Tax-Payer Subsidies After Making Over $100 Billion in Profits Last Year

Washington DC – Before President Obama unveiled his responsible FY2015 budget blueprint last week that proposes to roll back $4 billion a year in wasteful subsidies for the oil industry that posted over $100 billion in profits last year, a draft tax reform proposal was circulated by Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) that would do away with some accounting tricks that allows oil companies to report lower net profits and a result, helps them skirt taxes on a profound level.

“It’s the first bipartisan acknowledgement in Washington in recent memory that big oil is on the receiving end of too much special tax treatment,” said Jeremy Funk, Communications Director, Americans United for Change. “As lawmakers and their constituents engage in this national discussion about what our budget priorities should be, we strongly encourage House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to follow fellow Republican Congressman Camp’s lead and hold a hearing on why an industry that made $100 billion in profits last year can’t do without billions of dollars in subsidies every year courtesy of the taxpayers.  Most Americans wonder why oil subsidies remains a top priority in Washington, and Paul Ryan is in a position to give them some answers.”

Not surprisingly, big oil’s front man - American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard - immediately ran whining to the media, condemning what he sees as a “serious flaws” in Camp’s proposal to end the “percentage depletion allowance and the passive activity allowance” tax exemptions, even though it still leaves in places plenty of other tax loopholes for them to shamelessly exploit to the detriment of taxpayers and important domestic priorities.

“It’s moments like this when you can’t help but smile at just how full of it big oil really is,” added Funk. “The same Jack Gerard who’s got the brass to tell people that the oil industry  ‘Gets No Subsidies, Zero, Nothing’ is the loudest squealer in the room when merely a draft proposal emerges to end a couple of the many tax gimmicks big oil takes full advantage of -- gimmicks that API itself describes as ‘subsidies.’   Gerard deserves a slow clap for his acting versatility – one minute he can play dumb about his industry getting any subsidies at all, the next minute he can play the victim of nasty people in Washington that want to strip oil companies of a ‘necessary’ entitlement.”

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