With concerns growing over the impacts of the sequester budget cuts, we believe Congress should put an end to these taxpayer-paid subsidies to an industry that is enjoying record profits. Across-the-board sequester cuts will reduce air pollution monitoring, scale back Superfund cleanups and reduce funding clean water and drinking water projects. Closing tax loopholes and subsidies to the oil industry would have positive impact on the federal budget by generating revenue for smart investment in our economy and help businesses and the environment.
The American Sustainable Business Council recognizes the need for fiscal responsibility and budgetary prioritization. It is this recognition that underscores our support for ending what the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congressional Research Service and American Petroleum Institute note are $8 billion dollars a year in subsidies to the oil and gas industry. Such a mature and prosperous industry no longer needs federal financial incentives to succeed.
What's At Stake:
According to Citizens for Tax Justice, the big 5 oil companies increasingly are redirecting their billions into dividends and stock purchases, and much of the rest of the increase in gasoline prices is due to speculation. Removing billions in tax breaks isn’t going to change that. As a result, while more and more Americans and American businesses struggle, their obligations to an affluent oil industry are two-fold: first through their tax dollars, then again at the pump. The American people are not subsidizing lower energy costs but higher industry profits.
On the other hand, eliminating oil and gas subsidies will help reduce the federal deficit, freeing up more ability to invest in projects that will help create jobs, like renewable energy development or infrastructure improvements.
In February of 2013, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) re-introduced the “Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act” (S.307), which would close several oil and gas loopholes and use the proceeds to reduce the federal deficit.
During their meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia in September 2013, the leaders of the G-20 nations agreed to phase out oil subsidies, which the International Energy Agency estimated would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by 2050.
We need your help to encourage Congress to make changes for the good of the country by ending these benefits for a prosperous few. Eliminating subsidies to the oil industry will free up resources which can be better used to support the emerging renewables industry and maintain a responsible budget.
Join ASBC to back ongoing efforts in Washington to end these subsidies, including the ‘Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act of 2013’ spearheaded by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).