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Yarmuth Demands an Immediate End to Subsidies for Big Oil

(Washington, DC) – Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03) announced his support of the Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act – legislation that would revoke billions in tax subsidies currently handed out to oil companies already raking in billions in profits every year.

“With gas prices in Louisville hitting four dollars per gallon, ExxonMobil just reported earnings of more than $10 billion for the first quarter of this year – almost 70 percent higher than last year. Yet, we are still giving them taxpayer-financed subsidies,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “If we are serious about deficit reduction and equity in this country, this legislation is a critical step forward to help build an economy that works for everybody, and not just Big Oil.”

The Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act would revoke nearly $13 billion in subsidies by ending the Section 199 tax deduction for the nation’s five largest oil companies, which permits a six percent tax deduction for income derived from domestic oil extraction.

In the first quarter of 2011 alone, the largest five oil companies each made billions in profits. In addition to ExxonMobil, BP collected almost $5.5 billion, and Conoco, Shell, and Chevron reported a combined $16 billion in profits.

Yesterday, on the House floor, Congressman Yarmuth urged his colleagues to support the Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act. Today, Democrats attempted to force a vote on the legislation, but that effort was defeated 171 to 241, largely along party lines.