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Stop the Handouts to Big Oil
2011: RECORD PROFITS, RECORD PRICES, & LESS OIL — Despite the industry producing less oil than in 2010, Big Oil made a record-high $137 billion in profit. All the while, the industry hired a fleet of 790 lobbyists and spent $149 million to influence American legislators. At the pump, consumers faced the highest gas prices since 1864.
Plug the Bilions in Oil Industry Subsidies
Taxpayer money should go to fund important programs that work for the public, not pad the pockets of the most profitable of companies.
A century ago, to encourage exploration and growth in an era of rudimentary technology, Congress changed the tax code to make oil extraction a less risky and more profitable endeavor. Now, despite being a longstanding and arguably the most profitable industry in the world, we've allowed Big Oil to drain over $4 billion a year from our public coffer.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are tightening our belts and Congress is gearing up to make substantial cuts to reduce the federal deficit. Faced with difficult decisions, it's looking to cut vital services and programs — and Big Oil is lobbying hard with their riches to ensure that it keeps profits up and handouts flowing.
Florida PIRG is working to make sure Congress looks out for the public interest and finally stops the billions in handouts to Big Oil, especially considering:
We are still paying for the environmental devastation caused by the biggest oil spill in history.
- Beyond the lasting damage to our oceans, as taxpayers we paid over half of the $20 billion BP spent on compensating Gulf residents and businesses — this is due to BP writing off $13 billion in tax credit expenses related to the Gulf oil spill two years ago.
Instead of investing in job creation, alternative energy, or research and development, Big Oil uses their money to concentrate their power.
- Big Oil managers direct most of their excess cash to dividends and stock repurchases, serving the purpose of driving up share prices and the executive stock option values. The percentage of Big Oil's net profits directed towards this self-enriching practice was: 58 percent in 2005, 73 percent in 2006, and 72 percent in 2007, 71 percent in 2008 and 89 percent in 2009.
You Can Help
We have a chance to end billions in Big Oil subsidies this year. Your support will help us do the research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to convince our elected officials to act.