Our Take

Big Oil Continues to Receive Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies While Profits Soar

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July 30, 2013
Programs: Energy

As midyear profit results are released this week, the oil and gas industry is asserting itself once more as one of the most lucrative and powerful industries in the world. As of July 30, 2013, Total S.A. and BP have released their second quarter results. Of the remaining Big Oil companies, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, Shell, and Chevron are scheduled to release their second quarter results later this week. Below is a brief summary of the results to date.

  • Total S.A. hauled in $3.525 billion in the second quarter, boosting its 2013 first half profits to $7.305 billion.
  • BP raked in $2.712 billion in the second quarter, taking its 2013 first half profits to $6.927 billion.

While Big Oil continues to rake in added billions each financial quarter, it continues to drill into more than a dozen taxpayer-funded subsidies. From preferential treatment in the tax code to free research and development and insurance liability caps, these subsidies represent billions wasted on a highly mature and profitable industry each year. Further, the oil and gas industry employs an army of lobbyists and contribute tens of millions of dollars to strategic political campaigns each year to preserve and sometimes expand these favorable policies—perpetuating an endless cycle of profits, lobbying, and costly subsidies.

With a near $17 trillion national debt and substantial budget deficits, taxpayers cannot afford to be handing out wasteful, unnecessary, and market-distorting subsidies to the highly lucrative oil and gas industry. Congress should act to ensure the oil and gas industry pays its fair share and end these needless giveaways.

Filed under: Cut Subsidies, Rein in Deficits

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