Yesterday in the Senate, Sen. Roy Blunt again voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil. Even in a year when the top five oil companies have raked in over $41 billion - that's billion with a B - and Exxon made 35% more in profits in 2011 than it did in 2010, Blunt decided that Big Oil couldn't possibly be called upon to pay it's fair share.
Despite a last-minute appeal by President Barack Obama for Congress to end the tax breaks, Senate Republicans — including U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. — blocked the bill, which would have diverted some revenue to alternative energy. The 51-47 procedural vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward.
After the vote, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., lashed out at GOP senators for blocking what she described as an effort to end “tax giveaways for the most profitable companies in the history of the world.” She said “economic fairness” dictated that profitable oil firms be led away from “the taxpayer trough.” (Click here to watch McCaskill's speech.)
Even more disgusting? This isn't even the first time in a year that Blunt has sided with Big Oil over the 99%. Last May he and Senate republicans blocked Sen. McCaskill's efforts to end $2 billion - again with a B - in subsidies to the top five oil companies.
- More than 70% of Americans want to get rid of subsidies for Big Oil, and nearly 75% support increased federal funding for clean energy innovation.
- More than 70% of Americans say they feeling financial strain from high gas prices.
- Senate Democrats' plan would save more than $20 billion by eliminating tax giveaways for oil companies.
- High gas prices mean massive profits for oil companies - Exxon's profits jumped nearly 70%as they raked in over $10 billion since January alone.
- In the past decade, the top five oil companies made nearly a trillion dollars in profits. In 2009 alone, the CEOs of five major oil companies took home almost $70 million combined.
- Oil and gas companies spent $16 million in 2010 to elect Republicans, and $146 million on lobbying in 2010 alone. Conglomerate billionaires the Koch Brothers have pledged to spend nearly $100 million to beat President Obama and Democrats in 2012.
- Republicans have voted in lockstep against ending oil subsidies and recouping billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars from them.
- Republicans have long opposed setting fuel economy standards or developing sources of clean energy, which would help reduce our dependence on oil.