BP: Pay your fair share.
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One year ago today, BP's oil began to pour into the Gulf of Mexico. It did not stop for 87 days.
Today, economic and environmental devastation remain. Thousands of Gulf coast residents cope with massive health problems from oil and toxic dispersants.
BP, on the other hand, just scored a nearly $10 billion dollar tax credit, by writing off its "losses" incurred from the tragedy.1
$10 billion is the entire annual budget of the EPA, whose funding was just slashed in the continuing resolution. It is almost one third of all the cuts in the continuing resolution.
Responding to BP's monumental catastrophe cost a massive amount of resources from local, state and federal governments. Now, BP is dealing another massive blow to our nation's tax revenue.
The $10 billion savings comes after BP wrote-off the $32.2 billion it set aside to cover clean-up costs, fines, and a $20 billion victim compensation fund (which has been notoriously slow and stingy in responding to claims, paying out less than $4 billion so far.2)
But there is an excellent precedent that says BP did not have to deduct these costs for tax advantages. Last year, Goldman Sachs waived a tax deduction it could have claimed from having to pay $500 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission for giving bad information to mortgage investors.3
BP's $10 billion tax credit slashes its liability by one third — at every US taxpayers' expense.
Over the weekend, I was in Washington D.C. for the Powershift conference, attended by 8,000 young climate activists.
Hundreds attended from the Gulf Coast, and I heard their stories of oil still remaining on beaches, of its smell still permeating the air, of legions of dead dolphin, turtles and fish, of neighbors who are sick or jobless. I heard them say that BP hasn't done nearly enough to make it right.
Meanwhile in Washington, BP just restarted political contributions to the Republicans who continue to push for expanded offshore drilling,4 oppose lifting oil spill liability caps,5 and do everything in their power to keep our nation addicted to dirty crude, as millions of Americans literally drain their paychecks into their gas tanks every day.
To take our nation off of dirty, dangerous, expensive fossil fuels, we must force polluters to pay for the damage they do.
One year ago, BP brought us what would become the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history. We don't owe BP a tax-credit. BP owes us our gulf back. The least it could do is pay its fair share.
Thank you for holding polluters accountable.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. "BP Scores $10B Tax Credit by Offsetting Cash," CBS News, July 27, 2010
2. "Gulf-Spill Fund Pays $3.8 Billion; Total May Be 'Higher'," Bloomberg, April 18, 2011
3. "Goldman Waives Tax Deduction on SEC Settlement," Bloomberg, July 16, 2011
4. "A year after spill, BP gives political contributions to GOP leaders," The Hill, April 19, 2011
5. "A Year After Gulf Tragedy, Offshore Oil Companies Still Shielded by Liability Limits," ProPublica, April 19, 2011
This is a message from CREDO / Working Assets. © 2011 CREDO. All rights reserved. Questions? Send us an e-mail or write us at: 101 Market Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94105.