Today Senator Claire McCaskill (D) announced she was supporting legislation which would eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas companies:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): …This really isn’t very complicated. This is very simple. There is more hot air around this building about deficit reduction than any other topic right now. And if we cannot end subsidies to the five biggest most profitable corporations in the history of the planet that come from the federal taxpayer then I don’t think anyone should take us seriously about deficit reduction.
Every dime that we will realize from this bill will go towards reducing the deficit. the fiscal commission has spent a lot of time talking about it, the gang of six is negotiating about it, uh, the Republican Party gives out con, conflicting statements every day about it.
Uh, the bottom line is this, if we can’t do this, if we can’t remove subsidies from these profitable big oil companies then I don’t know if we can ever get to the really difficult work that lies ahead. This ought to be the essence of low hanging fruit. And we ought to get busy, in fact, this ought to be hot lined. Uh, this ought to be a bill that goes to the floor, uh, very quickly and receives unanimous support. Uh, removing these special deductions that have allowed this, these profits to soar even above where they’re gonna soar anyway…
…I will say that the CEO of, of Conoco Phillips actually said in a hearing, and I’ll quote him, “With respect to oil and gas exploration and production we do not need incentives.” Um, and so, there is nothing about our bill that removes the incentives of the oil and gas industry to explore and to drill and to produce more oil. In fact, oil production domestically is much higher today than it was in the Bush administration. We have more, uh, rigs operating now since the point in time they began kep, keeping records, nine, down in nineteen eighty-seven. Oil production has been up in two thousand nine and two thousand ten, so, uh, in, in terms of our domestic capability.
So all of these are, are frankly false arguments and what we’re really talking about today has less to do with, with the pain that my constituents are feeling at the pump and more to do with what our country can afford…
…The legislation mandates that it goes towards deficit reduction. I support the bill because it goes towards deficit reduction. I will not support the bill if it goes for any other purpose…
It’s not going over well with the usual suspects:
….The oil industry is preparing for the fight. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, labeled the Democrats’ bill a “vindictive money grab.”
Replied McCaskill: “I would have been surprised if he said this is a great idea…They can hire 14 different associations to say this is evil….”
Vindictive? No, vindictive would be a clause in the bill requiring testing for illegal drug use by all employees of recipients of public aid, you know, like corporate welfare.