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GreenLeap News » The High Cost of... Votes?

The High Cost of... Votes?


5/18/2011

A Senate bill to stop oil and gas tax-breaks was blocked by a majority of Republicans and three Democrats from oil and gas states. "The Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act" (S.B. 940) would have stopped tax breaks totaling over $2 billion per year for the five most profitable oil and gas companies: BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell. This money would have been used for deficit reduction.

Though proposed as logically sensible in a year when the US deficit is of record dimension, gasoline prices are hitting $4 per gallon and the major players in oil and gas industry are seeing huge profits, the bill fell eight votes short of the 50 it needed to pass. With the exception of Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Ben Nelson (Nebraska) and Mark Begich (Alaska), Democrats supported the bill. With the exception of Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine, Republican Senators voted against the bill. The bill was also supported by the Obama administration.

Critics of the bill claim it targeted the oil companies as scapegoats and would have little sway on gas prices. The most stinging rebuttal, with financial sway insinuation, was the claim that Senators opposing the measure received five times campaign contributions from oil and gas interests than those who supported the bill.



Source: Forbes, CNN

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