Allen defends taxpayer handouts for big oil as gas prices climb

March 26, 2012
Brian Coy, brian@vademocrats.org

Richmond, VA – As families and businesses across Virginia and the nation cope with rising gas prices, the U.S. Senate is considering a logical step to eliminate taxpayer giveaways to the largest U.S. oil companies that reap huge profits while Americans suffer.

The commonsense Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act is an important opportunity for elected leaders and candidates running for office to demonstrate that they stand with Virginia families and refuse to shower highly profitable oil companies with more taxpayer money. Or it should be anyway.

Unfortunately, George Allen is running for reelection on a record of voting for these exact types of taxpayer handouts to oil companies and a platform of defending them, ridiculing efforts to repeal them and attacking clean, renewable energy and the jobs that come with it.

“George Allen’s entire career has been defined by his loyalty to big oil companies that pay his salary and bankroll his campaigns, and his reelection campaign is no different,” said DPVA Executive Director David Mills. “As Virginians pay more and more to big oil companies at the pump, they deserve better than a Senator who thinks highly profitable oil companies deserve billions of their tax dollars too.”

Background:

  • Allen Has Accepted $498,597 From The Oil And Gas Industry. Since beginning his congressional career, Allen has accepted $498,597 from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 3/26/11]
  • 2005: Allen Opposed Amendment To Repeal $2 Billion In Oil And Gas Subsidies. In November 2005, the Senate failed to adopt an amendment to reduce the deficit by roughly $2 billion by repealing tax deductions granted to major integrated oil companies for intangible drilling and exploration costs. Allen voted no. [Vote 332, 11/17/05]
  • 2006: Allen Supported Tax Bill Containing More Than $5 Billion In Tax Breaks For Big Oil Companies. In May 2006, the Senate adopted the final version of a $70 billion tax cut package that included benefits for big oil. According to the Boston Globe, “Big oil companies won their push to keep intact accounting changes that stand to net them $5.1 billion.”The oil industry loopholes were removed from the original Senate version of the bill in February 2006, but after heavy lobbying by the industry, Congressional negotiators reinserted them into the final bill. Allen voted yea. [Vote 118, 5/11/06; Boston Globe, 5/12/06; Washington Post, 4/26/06]
  • 2011: Allen Opposed Effort To Roll Back Tax Breaks For Big Oil Companies, Called It A “Political Stunt.” The Free-Lance Star reported, “U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine says he backs a push by Senate Democrats to end subsidies for oil companies. . Allen spokeswoman Katie Wright said, “Even some Senate Democrats realize this is a political stunt that will do nothing to bring down the price of gas for struggling families.” [The Free Lance-Star, 5/13/11]
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