Big Oil to Obama: Hands off our tax breaks

high-gas-prices.gi.top.jpgOil lobby says President Obama's energy policies are to blame for high gas prices. By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The oil industry launched another assault Tuesday in the battle to protect favorable tax rates for energy producers.

The industry's chief lobbyist in Washington, Jack Gerard, president and chief executive of the American Petroleum Institute, said raising taxes on the oil and gas companies would stifle job growth and do nothing to lower gasoline prices.

He said the recent push to eliminate industry tax breaks is "a red herring" designed to distract attention from the "ineffective energy policies" of the Obama administration.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress are pushing to end $4 billion in subsides, saying that oil companies are profitable enough to bear the burden, while the government is in serious need of additional revenue.

The tussle over tax breaks comes as rising gas prices have pinched consumers across America, while companies such as Exxon (XOM, Fortune 500), Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) and BP (BP) have reaped billions in profits from a spike in global oil prices.

"It's not right that Montanans are paying anywhere from $3.50 to $4 a gallon for gas at the pump while big oil companies are raking in near record profits," Max Baucus, Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance committee, said last week.

Baucus has proposed repealing tax breaks for the biggest oil and gas companies.

But Gerard said cutting oil and gas subsides would cause companies to move high-paying jobs overseas.

"Why would we encourage American companies to go elsewhere in the world to produce energy," he asked rhetorically. "You'd think, at some point, we'd want to become a little more American in our approach."

Gerard said policy changes could help the industry create a million more U.S. jobs and provide "trillions" in additional revenue for the government. He called on Congress to open access to untapped U.S. oil sources, boost imports from Canada and allow for full development of oil and gas from shale deposits

Doc Hastings, the Washington Republican who is chairman of the House Natural Resources committee, blamed the Obama administration last week for high gas prices, saying the energy policies of the last two years have blocked access to domestic energy sources.

Hastings said his committee has approved three pieces of legislation that would reverse the president's energy policies. Lawmakers in the House are expected to review the proposals in the weeks ahead.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,098.45 18.88 0.11%
Nasdaq 4,580.27 22.58 0.50%
S&P 500 2,003.37 6.63 0.33%
Treasuries 2.34 0.01 0.39%
Data as of 8:13am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.09 0.08 0.50%
Apple Inc 102.50 0.25 0.24%
Intel Corp 34.92 0.27 0.78%
Facebook Inc 74.82 0.96 1.31%
General Electric Co 25.98 -0.03 -0.12%
Data as of Aug 29

Sections

The deal would value Vice at $2.5 billion. The online media company would also create content for the cable network, delivering a wider audience. More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

Netflix told the FCC that its speed on the Comcast network became so slow that customers began dropping their service. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

Five CNNMoney readers share stories about saving that you can learn from: What they would do differently if they had another chance. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.