Big Oil execs hit back on tax proposal
May 12th, 2011
09:53 AM ET
10 years ago

Big Oil execs hit back on tax proposal

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Dragged before Congress as gas prices explode at the pump, oil executives mounted a vigorous defense of their business practices on Thursday - pushing back against plans to eliminate tax breaks for the "big five" oil and gas companies.

All five executives acknowledged rising prices at the pump, but much of their testimony focused on the impact of a plan floated by Senate Democrats that would eliminate a raft of tax breaks for just the top five oil companies.


Filed under: Congress • Senate
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. CB FLA

    This tax break was given in 1965 when oil was $17.00 a barrel. Oil is a hundred now. This is like crack, they can,t get enough!

    May 12, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The responses are almost laughable. You know that they pay themselves performance bonuses out of these tax breaks. I will buy into the argument that it is illegal to pass legislation that targets specific individual parties, which implies that it is just as illegal to have passed legislation that benefits specific parties.

    Most of these tax breaks were created for the benefit of the smaller companies to be able to have money for developement.

    May 12, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. gt

    dont worry sen. mary landieu wont let it happen..... while your looking for scape goats ... try hedge fund mgrs, and speculators....there is where the price problem is.....

    May 12, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. SayWhat

    Lokk at their profits. Why would they need a tax break except to pad executive salaries and bonuses. These poeple have no shame.

    May 12, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Four and The Door

    Prepare for a steady string of Democratic Dog and Pony Shows ( DAPS ) as we head into the 2012 election season and Barack Obama tries to worm his way back into another term.

    Certainly I agree that the government should be supported by profitable businesses. Just be fair about it. This is more DAPS than fair. How about redoing the whole tax structure which is a convoluted mess right now because of decades of political games? Make sure that our country benefits from profitable businesses like GE, Oil Companies and the immensely successful tech companies. But bills like this make the federal government look like fools.

    May 12, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. rs

    This little collection of hearings is pretty revealing. After earning huge, gross, record profits in the hundreds of billions of dollars, Republicans are trying to defend keeping tax breaks around for the oil industry.
    Well first of course because they are obscenely rich, and that is the only group Republicans care about. Deeper down though was an implied threat: if we tax oil companies (i.e. make them pay their FAIR SHARE to help pay down American debt.), they may raise prices. In essence, we have to pay these blood-suckers protection money- OR ELSE., and the Republican Tea Party is totally cool with that. Note: maintaining and growing wealthy/corporate tax cuts will EXPAND the debt. by $6 trillion.

    Sorry? WHY would anyone from the middle or lower economic classes ever vote for a Republican???

    May 12, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. American

    It makes absolutely no fiscal sense for Americans to continue subsidizing obscene tax breaks for Big (government) Oil while these corporations are raking in record profits. Enough.

    And while we're at it, the unnecessary subsidies for Big (government) Agriculture should end, too, and leave the tax breaks in place for the smaller American farmers, as it should be.

    May 12, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. ConservaFASCISTS

    When these oil companies are posting record profits in the first quarter of the year, it's plain and evident to see that they don't need subsidies on the backs of the American taxpayer. Gas prices will continue to rise and the oil companies profits will be bigger in the 2nd, 3rd & 4th quarter of this year. End the subsidies!!!!

    May 12, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. XWngLady

    Dear Big Oil, you have been sucking the lifeblood out of us for way too long. Ok. You've made your gazillions, now its time for YOU to pay the Piper....YOU DON'T NEED A TAX SUBSIDY. PERIOD...And BTW, its curious how when the price of oil goes up even a little, the price of gas skyrockets, but when the price of oil plummets, the price of gas doesn't budge...Can you say GOUGING??!! PRICE FIXING? OLIGOPOLY?!

    May 12, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Stand Up

    Obama sends BILLIONS of our tax dollars to other countries so they can drill for oil, yet he doesn't allow us to drill in our own country. Gee, seems to me the one to blame for those high gas prices at the pump is OBAMA!

    May 12, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. A Real American

    "...that would eliminate a raft of tax breaks for just the top five oil companies."

    I guess they feel unfairly targeted. Kinda like Planned Parenthood or ACORN or NPR.

    May 12, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. barry

    White collar crime,and Greed motivate these people? How can you "Call yourself "American", when you steal from the poor,crash our economy,and give huge amount of Gop contibutions, "To STAY the Coarse? Thats not American at all!!! Shame on all of you,shame on Gop? Wow Americans need to understand whats going on here,and vote accordingly, or these guys are going to "own you"

    May 12, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    If the middle class is forced to endure AMT, then corporations should be forced to endure an equivalent policy.

    May 12, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. GI Joe

    Contributors to the Bush/Cheney and current republican candidate campaigns. Nothing more needs to be said. They're protected by the House of Delegates as long as it is predominantly republican.

    You folks gonna vote the republicans in again? IDIOTS?

    May 12, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    rs wrote:
    Deeper down though was an implied threat: if we tax oil companies (i.e. make them pay their FAIR SHARE to help pay down American debt.), they may raise prices.
    I say call their bluff. And when the prices start doing funny things haul them in on charges of price fixing and racketeering. That threat worked in the past because no one had the guts to tell them what needs to be told. They wouldn't dare.

    May 12, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What are they doing with their tax breaks besides giving themselves bonuses? Are they creating jobs? Impacting prices at the pump?
    This is obscene behaviour from these mofos.

    May 12, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Bill from GA

    Previously on discussions of this current 'dog and pony show', commenters who oppose anything the dems do claim that any cut in subsidies to Big Oil would be passed on to the consumers at the pump. Is this so bad? If Americans are paying anyway, let those who use more gas pay more, rather than all taxpayers, or worse, that it is added to the deficit. Let the Chinese finance your gas hog?? ( I know, most of our debt is NOT held by the Chinese.)

    Seriously, we need to eliminate much of corporate welfare, including farm subsidies. President Bush (W when I don't agree with him) wanted to hold farm subsidies to those making less that $250,000 a year, or something like that, but lowlifes in Congress wouldn't pass it.

    May 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. once upon a horse

    @ Stand up...
    got two words for you

    YOU LIE!!!!

    May 12, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Bill from GA

    Ant to Big Oil, nobody is talking about excess taxes on oil companies. The idea is that you pay at the same rate as any other business; those who don't own congressmen and thus get taxpayer-funded subsidies.

    May 12, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I guess they feel unfairly targeted. Kinda like Planned Parenthood or ACORN or NPR.
    You're comparing legit businesses to government supported liberal causes? ACORN was a criminal enterprise and government funding and support of media outlets is a throw back that isn't needed now. There are thousands of viable stations that don't government funding.

    May 12, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Ron

    Yes, oil prices are down but we still haven't seen a change in prices. If Congress were to slap the oil industry with fines or taxes, they'd pass it on to the rest of us as, after all, they don't want anyone touching their Billions in profits.
    Nationalize the oil companies? It as the potential to lower prices, a lot however, I'm also not terribly comfortable with the belief that the Government being in control either as our Government isn't exactly a shining example of honesty and truth.
    We're simply between a rock and an oil barrel. Greed and power are the motivating factors here, nothing else.

    May 12, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    All the Democrats really know how to do is to demonize businesses. Attack them at every opportunity with their class warfare games. Their "he's an evil greedy businessman" game. Their "he's stealing from you and keeping you poor game". And then wonder where all the jobs are? Are you beginning to get it Amnerica??? Are you beginning to understand why unemployment will continue to be high under this insane Obama and Democrat approach???

    May 12, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Then they inject the not-so-subtle threat of gas prices going up if the tax subsidies are not continued.
    That's a freaking joke! It is not as if the gas prices have gone DOWN while they enjoyed the subsidies all these many years!?

    May 12, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. ConservaFASCISTS

    Stand Up

    You apparently are being misled by that attack ad out against the President when he's alongside with the Brazilian President. You my friend are a fool. The President has authorized more drilling permits in the GULF of all places, after the worst ecological spill in our history. Stop drinking the conservaFASCISTS kool aid.

    May 12, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |