Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Letter from Senator Bill Nelson -- Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes!

June 1, 2011

Frank Jackalone
Senior Organizing Manager
Sierra Club
111 Second Avenue, NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Dear Mr. Jackalone:

     Thank you for contacting me regarding gas prices and Federal regulations related to the extraction of oil and natural gas.
     I believe that special interests have hijacked congressional tax and spending bills for their own gain, at the expense of the public. That’s why I am an original cosponsor of S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act.  This bill would eliminate tax breaks for large oil companies that make revenue in excess of $1 billion per taxable year. As Congress debates measures to improve our fiscal outlook, we must ensure that seniors and working-class Americans are not left holding the bill for these outdated and unnecessary oil subsidies.
     Furthermore, we must not allow oil companies to shift the cost of their mistakes to the average taxpayer. That’s why I recently introduced legislation (S.983) to prevent oil companies, such as BP, from deducting the cost of oil spill recovery efforts. Last year, BP announced that they’d use nearly $12 billion in tax savings to offset clean-up costs associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is clear the Gulf oil spill was the result of wrongdoing. Even if BP is technically entitled to these tax deductions under current law, it doesn’t make it right.
     I believe we should modernize our tax system to encourage innovation and the development of new, alternative technologies in the energy sector.  I support efforts to prevent a rise in energy prices and reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and I’m open to new ideas that will further these goals while protecting our precious environment.
     I appreciate hearing your views on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.
                                   Senator Bill Nelson

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