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Exxon Leads Defense of Oil Tax Breaks Democrats Want to Repeal
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg

San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg, May 11, 2011
Posted: May 17th, 2011

Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex W. Tillerson and four counterparts defended $21 billion in U.S. tax breaks that Democrats are seeking to recapture to reduce the federal deficit. Senate Democrats are proposing to raise oil and gas taxes by about $2 billion a year for 10 years, arguing that widening deficits are a threat to the economy and sacrifice is required. College students are giving up federal help, and so should the companies, said Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat. "We have to choose priorities and right now we have a huge budget deficit," Schumer said to ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva. "Do you think that your subsidy is more important than the financial aid that we give to students to go to college?" To build their case, Democrats have cited rising gasoline prices and quarterly earnings reports that put the five companies on pace to generate more than $125 billion in profits this year, which would be a record. The Democrats' proposal would raise about $13 billion by blocking the five largest oil and gas companies from receiving a domestic-manufacturing deduction for exploration and extraction in the U.S. The Senate Democrats' proposal would generate $6.5 billion by curtailing the oil companies' ability to claim tax credits for royalty payments made to foreign governments.

Note: We are paying near-record prices for gas, while the oil companines are making record profits, just as they did when gas prices spiked several years ago. So why are oil companies still getting tax breaks?

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