End taxpayer-funded handouts for big profitable oil companies

For Immediate Release
Monday, April 16, 2012

Tester: End taxpayer-funded handouts for big profitable oil companies

Dennis Rehberg supports billing taxpayers for irresponsible handouts to huge companies

BILLINGS, Mont. – As millions of Americans finalize their tax returns, Jon Tester says no taxpayer money should be given to the world’s largest big oil companies, which are earning record multibillion-dollar profits.

In 2011, the five largest oil companies posted a combined $135.2 billion profit while also collecting $4 billion in taxpayer-funded handouts from taxpayers, who were forced to pay rising prices to fuel their vehicles and heat their homes.

Tester stood up for taxpayers in March and voted to end subsidies to big oil.

“Jon believes it’s irresponsible to send billions of dollars from taxpayers to the nation’s most profitable oil companies, especially while hardworking Americans pay more at the pump,” said Montanans for Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy. “Jon has a powerful record of supporting smaller, independent oil producers that help drive Montana’s economy. But unlike his opponent, Jon believes taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for handouts to big oil.”

In the race for U.S. Senate, Congressman Dennis Rehberg is a routine defender of taxpayer handouts for big oil while supporting policies to forcing cuts to Medicare, gut Pell Grants and hand pink slips to teachers.

Rehberg expressed his support for big oil last year by holding a fundraiser with a British Petroleum executive on the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jon Tester believes our nation must be energy independent and increased domestic oil and gas development is part of a responsible all-of-the-above energy policy to help bring down prices at the pump.

Last month Tester expressed his support of smaller, independent oil producers that play a large role in developing Eastern Montana’s Bakken oil field by touring a drilling operation outside of Sidney, Montana.

Tester supports the construction of the Keystone-XL pipeline and introduced a measure in the Senate to increase American energy independence and lower gas prices by requiring all oil carried in the pipeline to be refined in and sold in America.

Big Oil profit margins in 2011 (CBS News, 3/30/2012):

  • ExxonMobil: $41.1 billion (up 35 percent from 2010)
  • Shell: $30.9 billion (up 54 percent from 2010)
  • Chevron: $26.9 billion (up 41 percent from 2010)
  • BP: $23.9 billion (up from $4.9 billion loss in 2010)
  • ConocoPhillips: $12.4 billion (up 9 percent from 2010)
    • TOTAL: $135.2 billion