In Midst of Federal Debt Crisis, Oceana Urges Huge Taxpayer Savings by Ending Oil Industry Subsidies | Oceana

In Midst of Federal Debt Crisis, Oceana Urges Huge Taxpayer Savings by Ending Oil Industry Subsidies

Press Release Date: July 28, 2011

Location: Washington, D.C.


Anna Baxter | email:
Anna Baxter

As ExxonMobil reports earnings of $10.7 billion during the second quarter of 2011, Oceana urges Congress to end wasteful taxpayer subsidies to all oil companies.

Large integrated oil companies are reporting record earnings, gained mostly from the extraction of oil and natural gas deposits, which are public resources.  Meanwhile, they fail to provide American taxpayers with an adequate return on the use of these resources.

And this week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on an appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior that would slash funding for environmental assets, including our national park system, clean water and air, due to declining revenue.

“It’s outrageous for taxpayers to be writing checks to the oil industry at the very moment when we’re talking about austerity budgets due to lack of revenue.  Why should those who are posting record profits be exempt from sharing the sacrifices we all will be making?” said Oceana senior campaign director Jacqueline Savitz.

Federal subsidies for big oil and gas companies will amount to more than $8 billion annually over the next 10 years, according to 2011 data from the Office of Management and Budget and other sources.  These companies may claim that they pay hefty corporate taxes annually.  But the reality, at least for Exxon Mobil Corporation, is that from 2008-2010, the company paid a lower percentage of its earnings in taxes than the average American citizen.  

According to the Center for American Progress, Exxon Mobil’s effective tax rate of 17.6 percent was the same effective tax rate as Americans in the fourth income quintile, which includes taxpayers earning from $62,000 to $100,000 per year.

Oceana urges Congress to zero out oil and gas subsidies as a great way to help reduce the nation’s deficit

Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 500,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit