Blumenauer Introduces Bill to End Taxpayer Subsidies to Oil and Gas Companies

September 29, 2020
Press Release

Today, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, along with Sean Casten (D-IL), introduced legislation to eliminate nearly a dozen of the most egregious tax loopholes currently enjoyed by the oil and gas industry at the expense of American taxpayers. 

“Over a million acres burned in Oregon due to unprecedented wildfires this year. It’s unconscionable that we continue to spend billions in tax subsidies on the very industry which has done so much to help create the climate emergency,” Blumenauer said. “Rather than lining the pockets of large oil and gas companies and incentivizing the continued extraction of fossil fuels, we must end these unnecessary subsidies and instead invest in clean energy technologies and jobs that will put Americans to work and fight the climate crisis.”

The oil and gas sectors are some of the world’s most profitable industries, claiming billions of dollars in earnings each year. Despite this success, these fossil fuel companies receive billions in tax breaks and subsidies annually, undermining the nation’s ability to invest in renewable energy sources and damaging our environment.

If signed into law, Blumenauer’s End Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies Act would eliminate 11 of these provisions in the tax code that unfairly benefit oil and gas companies. Not only would the legislation ensure the United States is no longer providing tax subsidies to oil and gas at the expense of clean energy, but it would also increase the competitiveness of the energy industry.

The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. We’ve seen fires rage across the West and hurricanes batter the Gulf Coast, all just in the past few months. Ending fossil fuel subsidies is an important step to take in combating climate change,” Casten said. “It’s also an important step in increasing the competitiveness of United States energy markets and this bill manages to accomplish both while saving billions of taxpayer dollars every year.”

The United States emitted more than 6.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases in 2018, with the vast majority of emissions coming from the combustion of fossil fuels. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that fossil fuels receive nearly $650 billion per year in direct and indirect subsidies in the United States.

A copy of the legislation is available here.