Oil Lobby Says Obama’s Call To End Big Oil Handouts Is ‘Discriminatory’


Written by Rebecca Leber

The oil lobby American Petroleum Institute weighed in on President Obama’s corporate tax reform that closes an array of tax loopholes, including $4 billion in subsidies for the oil industry. Not surprisingly, API is unhappy. API President Jack Gerard played victim, calling the plan “discriminatory” against an industry that “receives not one subsidy”:

One day after the Obama administration unveiled a sweeping corporate tax reform plan, the oil and gas industry’s top lobbyist went on the attack against the president’s proposal.

Calling it “discriminatory,” Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said the administration’s outline was more of a “Swiss cheese approach that we’re trying to get rid of in this country.”

“The industry receives not one subsidy,” Gerard claimed. “It takes tax deductions the same or similar to what all other American companies get to recover their costs of doing business.”

Here’s a fact for Gerard: tax deductions are subsidies, as API has previously admitted. In one API document, the organization discussed “subsidies for alternative fuels” including “preferential tax treatment.”

Here’s another fact: the industry receives a whopping $7 billion in tax breaks each year.

Gerard also claimed big oil pays one of the highest effective tax rates, and yet Exxon Mobil – the most profitable oil company – paid a 17.6 percent federal effective tax, lower than the average American. The company paid zero taxes to the federal government in 2009. The oil industry is fighting to keep its handouts, despite posting record-breaking profits of $137 billion in 2011.

So far, it seems like it’s American families who are being discriminated against, in favor of Big Oil.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Photo from EnergyTomorrow via flickr


Xil L.
Xil L5 years ago

in other words, we are paying for the oilspill cleanups

Hartson Doak
Hartson Doak6 years ago

Interesting how there is no more coverage about the Superfund that is tax payer money used to clean industrial waste sights. The Government spends Billions cleaning up after companies that have poisoned an area then moves on. Remember Love Canal? That is a cost of business that the oil companies do not want to assume. They want to get the US taxpayer to do the clean up.

Barbara V.
Barbara V6 years ago

Discriminatory, eh? Now, THERE'S a real "interpretation" of the word. One that you'd expect out of the mouths of scumbags. Ain't that just too bad. Oh, I look to the day when Big Oil and their lobbyists get THEIRS!!!!!!!!

LD B6 years ago

"“The industry receives not one subsidy,” says API President Jack Gerard.

So, cheap oil & gas leases don't count as a "subsidy?"

Lee Witton
6 years ago

I agree and it's high time these basretards understand that taxpayers aren't paying for their misdeeds any longer. The middle class are being kicked out of their homes, unable to put food on the table (if they've still got a table), are paying ever increasing prices at the pumps, don't have affordable healthcare cause the same crappers that are screwing us over on healthcare are actually in bed with these corporations.
Rush Limpballs is calling Susan Fluke a slut but the these corporations and the Republican party in Washington (and of course as Ed Schultz would say; the drugster) are money grubbing whores who have no moral conscience. I hope we can make them all fall and the middle class may rise again. We're damned sure not going to give up.

Laurita Walters
Laurita Walters6 years ago

I really like Ingra's comment, "Oil Substaties and handouts should have ended decades ago AND they should have to pay the TOTAL bill for cleaning up their spills!"

I can only imagine the outrage THAT would engender from this privileged class, Big Oil, who are used to the rest of us paying them what they want and wiping up behind them.

Inga S.
Inga S6 years ago

Well Bless Their Hearts!
Oil Substaties and handouts should have ended decades ago AND they should have to pay the TOTAL bill for cleaning up their spills! We taxpayers pay enough at the pump and when we turn on our gas appliances!

Lee Witton
6 years ago

What they are really concerned about is they will not have quite as much money to buy politicians. What they are all about is protecting their own interests at the expense of the middle class. It's high time these boys start lamenting what once was and pay due diligence to making this country what it once was before big money took over government. Get the powerful out of politics, get the middle class on the right track, get the Republicans out of office, impeach 3 Supreme Court Justices, hold Bush, Cheney, Condi, Rummi, Rove; all accountable for their filthy criminal acts against humanity and try them as war criminals. Now that would be a great way to celebrate 2013!

Hope S.
Hope Sellers6 years ago

“It takes tax deductions the same or similar to what all other American companies get to recover their costs of doing business.”

Their cost of doing business includes bloated salaries, perks, stock options, health care and legal service paid by the corporation for CEOs and top management. The loopholes and tax breaks must end. All income should be taxed the same.

Until then their greed will continue to grow without limit.

Don Lukenbill
Don L6 years ago

If lobbying groups are "people" just as corporations are, is Obama denying them their civil rights by withholding constitutionally-guaranteed subsidies? There doesn't seem to be any end to their chicanery. Tell me this, though: Aren't subsidies the corporate equivilent of welfare? Why can't Big Oil get a job like everyone else and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps?