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Lawmakers Protest Tax Breaks for Oil, Gas Companies

Fresh data from the independent congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) reveal that as much as $700 million a year in subsidies are flowing to oil and natural gas companies as a result of a massive corporate tax cut bill that was enacted in 2004, according to Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA).

The price tag exceeds $5 billion over 10 years -- at least $1.4 billion more than was previously estimated, said McDermott who, along with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), requested the JCT data.

"The fact that American taxpayers have to give away more money to oil companies as their profits increase is absurd -- it's like a kick in the stomach on top of a $60 tank of gas," said Kerry.

The tax incentives and credits for oil, natural gas, electricity and renewable fuels were part of a $136 billion corporate tax cut measure that President Bush signed into law in October 2004 (see Daily GPI, Oct. 25, 2004). "It's time we stop multi-billion dollar giveaways, financed by the American people, to the richest companies in America," Kerry said.

McDermott has introduced a bill (HR 5218) in the House and Kerry has offered a companion bill (S 2672) in the Senate to put an end to many of the subsidies for energy companies.

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