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 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
Nasdaq 4,422.09 -71.30 -1.59%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.10 -4.19%
Data as of 7:56pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.82 -0.23 -1.35%
Ford Motor Co 14.59 -0.20 -1.35%
Facebook Inc 76.55 -2.49 -3.15%
Apple Inc 99.18 -1.57 -1.56%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.03 -0.14 -0.56%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

In the last five years, pumpkin sales have risen 34% as people demand pumpkin in everything from beer to beef jerky. More

Facebook's chief product officer issued an apology to Sister Roma and the drag community on Wednesday for its flawed 'real name' policy. More

New York City launches a comprehensive site for all things related to its digital tech scene, Digital.NYC. More

For these seniors, the best retirement is not to retire. From a 102-year-old Wal-Mart worker to an activist park ranger, these workers have stayed on the job well into their golden years. 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.