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Surging Profits Underscore Absurdity of Big Oil Receiving Billions in Giveaways from Taxpayers

Posted May. 2, 2011 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2011

Matthew Cain, 202-222-0751, mcain@foe.org
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, ktrout@foe.org

Surging Profits Underscore Absurdity of Big Oil Receiving Billions in Giveaways from Taxpayers

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Oil giants ExxonMobil and Shell reported surging first-quarter profits today, increasing pressure on Congress to act on President Obama’s call for the elimination of billions in taxpayer-funded giveaways that pad the industry’s profits.

ExxonMobil reported profits of $10.7 billion in the first quarter of 2011, up 69 percent from last year, while Royal Dutch Shell reported first quarter profits of $8.78 billion, a jump of more than 40 percent.

Benjamin Schreiber, climate and energy tax analyst at Friends of the Earth, had the following statement:

“There is simply no justification for Congress continuing to hand out billions of American tax dollars to the world’s most profitable corporations each year. These giveaways reflect a broken political system, one in which corporate campaign contributions are valued above the good of the public.

“President Obama’s budget would eliminate more than $5 billion a year in subsidies to oil and gas corporations. That’s less than ExxonMobil reported in profits in the first quarter, and would hardly make a dent in the industry’s sky-rocketing gains. Congress should go further by ending the loophole that let BP claim a $10 billion tax break for drenching the Gulf of Mexico in oil.

“Ending taxpayer subsidies for the oil industry should be the starting point of sound fiscal policy. It’s galling to see Congress debate draconian cuts to programs that provide for the long-term safety and security of Americans when billions in giveaways to polluters continue unabated. Our country cannot afford to put padding the exorbitant profits of oil companies above protecting the health and well being of Americans.”

Friends of the Earth is fighting to defend the environment and create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

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