Senate Republicans Double Down For Big Oil

NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2011
Contact: Eric Jotkoff, (850) 222-3411

After Republicans Voted AGAIN to Protect Big Oil’s Taxpayer Subsidies, Floridians Left Wondering Who Haridopolos, LeMieux, and Hasner Will Fight for In the Senate 

When it comes to Big Oil or taxpayers, whose side are Florida’s Republican Senate hopefuls on? That’s a question Floridians deserve an answer to from Mike Haridopolos and Adam Hasner after their party leaders in Washington once again picked Big Oil yesterday.

Last night 45 Senate Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio, voted to protect $21 billion in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil, even in the face of sky high gas prices and profits for Big Oil.  Senate Republicans made their decision after taking in $29 million in contributions from Big Oil over the last two decades; in fact, Republicans, including George LeMieux as recently as last year, have consistently fought to protect handouts for Big Oil, even opposing yesterday’s proposal to reduce the deficit. 

“Floridians are rightfully worried that Mike Haridopolos, George LeMieux, and Adam Hasner will stand up for Big Oil, not taxpayers, in Washington,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff.  “Republicans in Washington have consistently sided with their Big Oil campaign contributors and Floridians have no reason to expect anything different from Haridopolos, LeMieux, or Hasner thanks to the their complete lack of leadership on the issue.”

“Haridopolos, LeMieux, and Hasner owe Floridians some answers; we already have one Senator who is only looking out for Big Oil, we most definitely don’t need another.”

BACKGROUND:

Last night, 45 Senate Republicans, including Marco Rubio, voted to protect $21 billion in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil. [Senate Roll Call Vote, 5/17/11

In 2010, LeMieux opposed an amendment to eliminate an oil company loophole in order to exempt small businesses from the Affordable Care Act’s 1099 provision. In September 2010, the Senate failed to adopt an amendment that would have eliminated the 6 percent manufacturing tax deduction for certain oil companies in order to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 1099 provision impacting small businesses. LeMieux voted no. [Vote 232, 9/14/10]

Senate Republicans have taken over $29 million in campaign contributions from the oil industry since 1990. [Center for Responsive Politics]

Big Oil companies took $4 billion in taxpayer funded subsidies in the past year.[CNNMoney.com, 4/26/11]

Gas prices and oil company profits are approaching record highs. In April 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that “Gasoline prices are skyrocketing — and so are oil company profits.” The national average for gasoline is $3.982 a gallon, according to AAA. According to the Washington Post, “motorists in 15 states and the District of Columbia pay more than $4 a gallon. The price is 17.4 cents more than it was a month ago and $1.092 more than a year ago.” Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil reported a first-quarter profit of “$10.7 billion, a 69 percent jump from the year before” and “Royal Dutch Shell also reported higher profits. Excluding one-time items and inventory gains, Shell earned $6.3 billion, up 30 percent from the first quarter of 2010 even as production dropped 3 percent.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/28/11; Washington Post, 5/13/114/28/11]

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