Big Oil celebrates century of tax breaks

President Obama has called on Congress to eliminate the percentage depletion allowance, along with a series of other tax breaks totaling $4 billion annually. Even Ronald Reagan once asked for the same in a 1985 speech on tax reform:
“Under our new tax proposal the oil and gas industry will be asked to pick up a larger share of the national tax burden. The old oil depletion allowance will be dropped from the tax code except for wells producing less than 10 barrels a day. By eliminating this special preference, we’ll go a long way toward ensuring that those that earn their wealth in the oil industry will be subject to the same taxes as the rest of us.”
However, congressional Republicans taking the lion’s share of oil and gas industry contributions have refused to close century-old loopholes in order to raise revenue. A number of specialized Big Oil tax breaks allow the top oil companies to cut their tax bill dramatically, sometimes half (or less)of the top corporate rate.
It is not as if Big Oil is struggling: Last year, the five largest oil companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil — earned $118 billion profit at a time when consumers paid record-high gas prices. This haul follows after a year the companies earned a record $137 billion profit.

– See more at: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/many-happy-returns-big-oil-celebrates-century-of-tax-breaks-22697#sthash.3YMqF80G.dpuf

Many happy returns: Big Oil celebrates century of tax breaks

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