Boehner Joins Growing Call to End Subsidies to Big Oil

April 28, 2011

On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told ABC that Congress should be looking at removing subsidies for big oil, saying "I don't think the Big Oil companies need to have oil depletion allowances" and that oil companies should be "paying their fair share."

President Obama welcomed the invitation and, in a letter to Congressional leadership, asked Congress to "eliminate unwarranted tax breaks to the oil and gas industry and invest that revenue into clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil." In his letter to Congress, President Obama stressed that the only way to a secure energy future is to develop domestic clean energy and noted that "Our outdated tax laws currently provide the oil and gas industry more than $4 billion per year in these subsidies, even though oil prices are high and the industry is projected to report outsized profits this quarter."

In response, Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement on Tuesday: "The speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and he is only interested in reforms that actually lower energy costs and create American jobs. Unfortunately, what the president has suggested so far would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump."

While some have taken Speaker Boehner's Tuesday statement as a retraction of his Monday remearks in favor of removing oil subsidies, Boehner's candid interest in evaluating tax breaks to big oil is a welcome development to all Americans who favor rational energy policy and a level playing field for all energy sources.

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