Friday, May 13, 2011

Congress grills big oil on subsidies

America's Big Five oil companies were in Congress today, and although they champion the free market, their CEOs were on Capitol Hill to defend something very different—$4 billion worth of tax incentives, credits and subsidies. But few see Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips and BP America—who raked in a collective $35 billion in the first quarter of 2011 alone—as the most vulnerable Americans. Congress is expected to vote on the Repeal Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, which would cut the subsidies and save Americans $21 billion over 10 years, next week. Oil companies are among the biggest lobbying groups in the US—Chevron paid $12.9 million in lobbying dollars in 2010; ExxonMobil $12.4 million; ConocoPhillps $19.6 million and BP America $7.3 million, much of it going to the same senators who will vote on whether to cut the subsidies.

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