Sen. Brown backs bill to cut Big Oil tax breaks

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Sen. Brown backs bill to cut Big Oil tax breaks

Cincinnati Enquirer – Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, unveiled a bill Tuesday that seeks to address rising gas prices by going after the world’s top five oil companies.

His bill would save U.S. taxpayers between $15 billion and $20 billion over the next 10 years by rescinding tax breaks given to Exxon Mobil, BP, Conoco Phillips, Shell and Chevron. About $4 billion is handed out to oil companies each year, he said.

“Big Oil is reaping big profits while working- and middle-class Ohioans struggle to make ends meet. It’s about time this corporate welfare meet its end,” Brown said.

Brown said the savings would come from recouping royalties that oil companies are exempted from paying for oil and gas production on public lands; preventing oil companies from avoiding paying full corporate taxes in the U.S.; and ending a number of tax deductions given to the oil industry, such as classifying oil production as manufacturing and allowing cpmpanies to deduct costs associated with preparing to drill.

Brown introduced the bill along with Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. All three are up for re-election next year. The bill comes as many voters are complaining about soaring gas prices.

“This bill is about whether our country can afford to subsidize some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet,” McCaskill said, adding that ending the tax breaks “is not going to change their bottom line.”

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