SENATOR DEAN HELLER’S RECORD OF STICKING UP FOR TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES TO BIG OIL COMPANIES, LETTING DOWN NEVADA TAXPAYERS

Senator Heller Has Been Big Oil’s Best Friend In Washington, But Has Voted To Kill Energy-Related Jobs In Nevada

In First Major Vote As A U.S. Senator, Heller Voted To Protect Taxpayer Giveaways To Big Oil Companies Making Record Profit

Shelley Berkley Has Been A Leader In Efforts To Make Nevada The Clean Energy Jobs Capital Of The Country

 

Las Vegas – Today, on the day of the Clean Energy Summit in Nevada, the Berkley for Senate campaign is highlighting Senator Dean Heller’s long record of sticking up for taxpayer subsidies for big oil companies and letting down Nevada taxpayers and businesses.  From his first major vote as a U.S. Senator which was to protect taxpayer giveaways to big oil companies making record profits, to his votes to kill job-creating projects in Nevada, Senator Heller has been big oil’s best friend in Washington.

While Senator Heller continues to go to bat for big oil companies, Shelley Berkley has been a leader in efforts to make Nevada the clean energy jobs capital of the country.  Shelley has consistently voted to support programs and projects that have the potential to create thousands of good-paying jobs in Nevada that can’t be outsourced and shipped overseas.

 

  • Heller voted to kill Department of Energy Loan Guarantees that are creating thousands of jobs in Nevada and the potential for thousands more
  • Heller voted multiple times against tax incentives for renewable energy including geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energy production that have the potential to create thousands of jobs in Nevada
  • Heller voted against effort to promote energy-efficient renovations that would save Nevada taxpayers money on their energy bills
  • Heller said renewable energy was “simply not a realistic and cost-effective option”

but

  • Heller opposed cracking down on oil speculation that could have brought down the price of gas for Nevadans 
  • Heller voted at least NINE times to protect taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies making record profits that don’t need the help in the first place

 

“Instead of sticking up for Nevada taxpayers and businesses by supporting common sense investments in clean energy jobs, Senator Heller’s been way too busy in Washington going to bat for big oil companies making record profits who don’t need the help in the first place,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, Berkley for Senate Communications Director.  “While Shelley has been a leader in efforts to make Nevada the clean energy jobs capital of the country and will continue to work to create good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced, Senator Heller’s nine votes to protect taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies making record profits tell Nevadans all they need to know about who he’s prioritizing in Washington.”

 

Clean Energy

 

Heller Said Renewable Energy Was “Simply Not A Realistic And Cost-Effective Option.”

 

Heller: “Renewable And Alternative Sources Of Energy… Are Simply Not A Realistic And Cost-Effective Option,” Even Though They “Enjoy Bipartisan Support.” In June 2008, Heller wrote a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating “Simply put, we cannot conserve, tax, or regulate our way out of this problem. Nor should we cajole our way out by begging foreign nations for help. Renewable and alternative sources of energy, which enjoy bipartisan support, are simply not a realistic and cost-effective option today. Reality today is that our nation now and into the foreseeable immediate future runs on gasoline, diesel fuel, and other petroleum products. Recognizing this reality and doing something about it is critical to our economy, public safety, education, and other areas.” [Heller letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 6/4/2008]

 

Heller Voted To Kill DOE Loan Guarantee Program That Is Creating Thousands Of Jobs In Nevada.

 

Heller Voted For Republican Continuing Resolution. Dean Heller voted for the Republican Continuing Resolution, HR 1. [HR 1, Vote #147 , 2/19/11]

 

GOP Budget Would Gut DOE Loan Guarantees For Renewable Energy Projects.In April 2011 the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote, “One of the casualties for H.R 1 is the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program for renewable energy projects. Created with bipartisan support as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the loan guarantee program helps encourage private financing for clean energy technology by mitigating some of the risks that might discourage investors and lenders.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/3/11]

 

RGJ: “More Than $1 Billion Dollar Worth Of New Renewable Energy Projects In Nevada Could Be At Risk Of Losing Funding.” In April 2011 the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote, “The ornery debate in Washington, D.C., between Republicans and Democrats about the federal budget could hit close to home. Depending on the debate’s outcome, more than $1 billion dollar worth of new renewable energy projects in Nevada could be at risk of losing funding. House Resolution 1 (H.R. 1), which passed along party lines in the House of Representatives in February, calls for $61 billion in spending cuts for the federal budget.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/3/11]

 

Funding Loss Would Put Over 2,000 Nevada Jobs At Risk, Reduce Local Government Revenue. In April 2011 the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote, “The projects are even more important given Nevada’s struggle with unemployment. The DOE estimates the five projects in Nevada will create 1,749 construction jobs and 314 permanent jobs. The facilities also are expected to generate extra economic activity for other businesses along with additional revenue for the state. Solar Reserve alone projects to pay about $10 million a year in total salaries and generate $40 million in local tax revenue for the first 10 years of the project…” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/3/11]

 

Daily Sparks Tribune: Seven Renewable Energy Projects Pursuing Loan Guarantees Would “Provide Thousands Of Jobs For Nevadans.” In May 2011 the Daily Sparks Tribune wrote, “The Clean Energy Project (CEP) last week issued a statement supporting the Department of Energy’s (DOE) renewable energy loan guarantee for SolarReserve’s 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes solar project. The solar-thermal facility will create 600 construction jobs and thousands of indirect jobs for Nevadans, while producing enough energy to power 75,000 homes, according to CEP… Six other projects, including Fulcrum BioEnergy’s Sierra BioFuels Plant in Storey County and U.S. Geothermal’s San Emidio geothermal expansion project near Gerlach, also are moving through the loan guarantee process and will provide thousands of jobs for Nevadans.” [Daily Sparks Tribune, 5/22/11]

 

Heller Voted Against Final Budget Deal, Which Included DOE Loan Guarantee Funding Earlier Slashed By House Republicans. In April 2011 the Nevada Appeal wrote, “The federal program that provides loans to start-up clean energy projects was sparred in the budget agreement that passed the U.S. House today. Funding for the Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program was slashed by the House Republican majority in February, but after tense budget negotiations in the weeks that followed the program was sparred, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters in a conference call Thursday morning as members of Congress were casting their votes for the budget deal. He said the program will mean jobs and a boost to Nevada’s economy.” Heller voted against the budget deal that passed 260-167. [Nevada Appeal,4/14/11; HR 1473, Vote #268, 4/14/11]

 

Heller Voted Against Senate Amendment That Included Extensions Of Critical Tax Breaks For Renewable Energy Industry

 

Heller Voted Against Amendment That Planned To Extend Soon-To-Expire Tax Breaks For Renewable Energy Industry. In March 2012 Dean Heller voted against the Stabenow amendment to S. 1813. According to The Hill, “The Senate on Tuesday rejected plans to extend a host of lapsed or soon-to-expire tax breaks for renewable fuels and power sources. Lawmakers voted 49-49 for Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) amendment to transportation legislation, but 60 votes were needed for approval.” [S. Amdt. 1812 to S. 1813, Vote #39, 3/13/12; The Hill, 3/13/12]

 

Stabenow Amendment Would Extend Manufacturing Tax Credit For Companies That Re-Equip Or Build New Facilities For Clean Energy Product Manufacturing. According to March 2012 press release from Sen. Stabenow, her amendment “extends Senator Stabenow’s 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, which expired in 2010. This is a 30 percent tax credit for companies that expand, re-equip, or build new factories in the United States to produce clean energy technology to help clean energy companies invest and create jobs in America.” [Sen. Stabenow press release,3/8/12]

 

Stabenow Amendment Would Extend Production Tax Credit For Wind Energy, Which Is “Crucial To Financing New Development.” In March 2012 The Hill wrote, “The Senate on Tuesday rejected plans to extend a host of lapsed or soon-to-expire tax breaks for renewable fuels and power sources. Lawmakers voted 49-49 for Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) amendment to transportation legislation, but 60 votes were needed for approval. The vote signals political hurdles facing advocates of green-energy tax breaks, notably the production tax credit for wind power projects that’s expiring at year’s end, an incentive that’s crucial to financing new development. The number of new wind projects brought online has dropped sharply when the credit has been allowed to lapse in the past. [The Hill, 3/13/12]

 

Stabenow Amendment Would Extend Incentives For Energy Efficient Homes And Appliances, Plug-In Vehicles, Production Of Certain Biofuels. In March 2012 The Hill wrote, “Stabenow’s plan would have also extended various incentives for energy efficient homes and appliances, plug-in vehicles, production of certain biofuels and a program that provides grants in lieu of tax credits for renewable power, among others.” [The Hill, 3/13/12]

 

Stabenow Amendment Would Continue “Successful” Solar Incentive Program That “Reimburses Companies For Up To 30 Percent Of The Cost Of Renewable Energy Installations.” In March 2012 the Solar Tribune wrote, “A measure to extend the 1603 Treasury Program, one of the most successful solar incentives of the last few years, will face a vote in the Senate tomorrow. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced an amendment to extend the Section 1603 Treasury Grant for one year as part of the highway bill (S. 1813) currently under consideration in Congress. Covering not only solar, but also cellulosic biofuel, biodiesel and renewable diesel, the 1603 program reimburses companies for up to 30 percent of the cost of renewable energy installations in lieu of tax credits. Introduced in the 2009 stimulus package, Section 1603 was extended in 2010, but expired at the end of 2011.” [Solar Tribune, 3/12/12]

 

Heller Voted Against Tax Credits To Boost U.S. Production Of Vehicles That Can Run On Natural Gas.

 

Heller Voted Against Amendment That Would Give Tax Credits To Boost U.S. Production Of Natural Gas Vehicles. In March 2012 Dean Heller voted against the Menendez amendment to S. 1813. According to the Las Vegas Sun, “Sen. Harry Reid often takes a hard line against subsidies for oil and gas companies. But on Tuesday, he was angling to get the U.S. government to create a tax incentive for a different kind of gas fuel — natural gas. Reid has long championed a proposal to offer billions of dollars in tax credits to boost U.S. production of vehicles that can run on natural gas. The plan — presented as an amendment to the Senate’s transportation bill today — is one Reid has said will ‘jump start’ the natural gas-burning vehicle industry here, which is lagging other nations, and that has received the endorsement of both President Barack Obama and self-appointed energy peacemaker and natural gas company owner T. Boone Pickens.” [S. Amdt. 1782 to S. 1813, Vote #41, 3/13/12; Las Vegas Sun, 3/13/12]

 

Heller Has Voted Multiple Times Against Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy…

 

Heller Voted Against Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy. In 2008, Heller voted against a bill that would extend expiring tax provisions through 2009. Specifically, the bill would provide tax incentives for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects, and investment in renewable energy. These tax incentives would be offset by prohibiting individuals from understating foreign oil and gas extraction income in the calculation of foreign tax credits, freezing the deduction amount for oil and gas companies and prohibiting individuals who work for certain offshore corporations to defer tax on compensations. The bill passed 257-166. [CQ Floor Votes, 9/26/08; HR 7060, Vote #649, 9/25/08]

 

Heller Opposed Extension of Tax Credits for Renewable Energy. In 2008, Heller voted against a bill that would revive or extend about $55.5 billion in tax breaks for individuals and businesses for one year. Specifically, the bill would allot $1.7 billion to allow individuals to deduct state sales taxes instead of income taxes from their 2008 tax filing, and $2.6 billion to extend the deduction for tuition and related expenses through 2008. The bill also extended tax credits for solar energy, wind energy, biomass, geothermal energy and certain coal projects.  The bill would also create a new category of tax credit bonds to help state and local governments with projects designed to reduce greenhouse gases. The bill passed 263-160. [CQ Weekly, 5/26/08; HR 6049, Vote 344, 5/21/08]

 

Heller Voted Against Incentives For Geothermal, Wind, Biomass And Solar Energy Production. In February 2008, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that “The House kept alive prospects for further growth among renewable energy industries in Nevada and elsewhere by passing a bill Wednesday that extends valuable tax credits set to expire at the end of the year. The bill, which passed 236-182, would give $8 billion in tax breaks through 2011 to companies that produce new electricity from natural sources like wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower. A 30 percent credit for investments in solar products and fuel cell technology would be in place through 2016. It also contained financial incentives for energy efficiency, offering tax credits of $4,000 to $6,000 for families to buy plug-in hybrid cars, and a break for the purchase of power-saving home appliances.. …The vote fell along party lines. While Berkley voted for the bill, Nevada Republican Reps. Dean Heller and Jon Porter voted against it as did all but 17 Republicans.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/28/2008; HR 5351,Vote 84, 2/27/08]

 

Heller Voted Against Bill That Would Reduce Subsidies For Big Oil, While Establishing Incentives For Wind And Solar. In January 2007, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported “The House voted 264-163 to pass an energy bill that would reduce subsidies for major oil corporations. Under the legislation, $14 billion in royalties and tax incentives for energy companies would be transferred to a fund for alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. The bill still must pass the Senate and be signed by the president before becoming law. Democrats and 36 Republicans who voted for the bill said it would guide the nation toward energy independence and stop “Big Oil” from continuing to receive tax breaks while gouging consumers at the gas pump. Opponents argued the bill would make domestic oil and gas production more expensive, thus driving up costs for consumers. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., voted for the bill. Reps. Dean Heller and Jon Porter, both R-Nev., voted against it.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/21/2007; HR 6, Vote 40, 1/18/07]

 

…And Voted Against Efforts to Promote Energy-Efficient Renovations…

 

Heller Opposed $6 Billion Rebate Program for Energy-Efficient Renovations. In 2010, Heller voted against passing a $6.6 billion rebate program for energy-efficient home improvements. “The result of this will be that we will see a reduction in energy bills,” said Democrat Edward J. Markey. In addition, the White House backed the measure, saying it would “create ‘green’ jobs in construction and manufacturing, help consumers lower their energy bills, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” The bill also authorized $600 million over two years for a separate program providing grants to states for assisting low-income households in replacing manufactured homes built prior to 1976. According to the Home Star Coalition, most of the jobs created by the program would go to small businesses for work that could not be outsourced. By further scaling back America’s dependence on fossil fuels, the bill reduced vulnerability to an energy marketplace with extreme price swings and volatility. The bill passed, 246-161.  [CQ Today, 5/06/10; McKinsey’s 2009 Report, Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy; HR 5019, Vote #255, 5/06/10]

 

…And Voted Against Renewable Energy Standards.

 

Heller Opposed Legislation That Included Increasing Renewable Energy Standard. In 2007, Heller voted against legislation to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, develop innovative new technologies, reduce carbon emissions, create green jobs, protect consumers, increase clean renewable energy production, and modernize our energy infrastructure. The bill set new efficiency standards for appliances, lighting and buildings, and create new programs to research infrastructure and delivery of alternative fuels. The bill also required oil and natural gas producers who did not pay royalties on leased federal land under existing law to either agree to renegotiate their leases or pay a new fee. In addition, the bill expanded an existing federal program to promote the capture and storage of carbon dioxide and set a goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by federal agencies by 2050. The bill also required utilities, starting in 2010, to produce at least 2.75 percent of electricity from renewable sources, with percentages rising each year to 15 percent by 2020. The bill passed 241-172.  [HR 3221, Vote 832, 8/4/07;  www.speaker.gov; Congressional Quarterly]

 

Oil Speculation

 

Heller Opposed Cracking Down on Oil Speculation By Strengthening Commodities Future Trading Commission, Which Regulates Oil Markets. In August 2008 the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote, “In the House, a bill to regulate energy market speculation also fell short. The vote was 276-151, nine votes short of the two-thirds necessary to approve the bill. Democrats brought it up under special rules to prevent Republicans from attaching an offshore drilling amendment. The bill would have added staff to and expanded authority of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. The agency regulates oil markets. Reps. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Jon Porter, R-Nev., voted for the bill. Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., voted against it.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/3/08; HR 6604, Vote #540, 7/30/08]

 

Less Than Two Months Later, Heller Again Voted Against Legislation To Crack Down On Oil Speculation And Bolster Oversight Of Commodity Futures Trading Commision. In September 21, 2008 the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote, “The House voted 283-133 to strengthen regulations of financial markets that could affect the cost of gasoline and other energy resources. The bill would broaden the oversight authority of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and increase its staffing. Supporters of the bill cited concerns that speculation on energy futures contributed to the skyrocketing surge in gasoline prices this year. Opponents, including the White House, said the legislation would divert the commission from its primary mission of promoting fair and efficient trading of futures. Berkley and Porter voted for the bill. Heller voted against it.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/21/08; HR 6604, Vote #608, 9/18/08]

 

Heller Voted Against Wall Street Reform. On June 30, 2010, Heller voted against overhauling the regulation of the financial services industry, to protect consumers from practices that could threaten the economy. The bill aimed to strengthen the government’s ability to prevent future bailouts by giving the government strong new powers to restrain or dissolve large firms who failure could threaten the economy. The overhaul measure would create new regulatory mechanisms to deal with the risks posed by very large financial firms, create a new federal agency to oversee consumer financial products, and force banks and other financial institutions to hold more capital to protect against future financial upheaval.  The bill would bring the $600 trillion derivatives market under federal regulation for the first time and give company shareholders and regulators greater say on executive pay packages. The bill passed, 237-192. [CQ Today, 6/30/10; HR 4173, Vote #413, 6/30/10]

 

Wall Street Reform Included Measure To Limit Excessive Speculation, Which The Financial Industry Is Fighting In Court. In March 2012 Reuters wrote, “The [Commodity Futures Trading Commission]’s groundbreaking position limits rule, contested in courts by the financial industry, aims to restrict the number of contracts a trader can hold in 28 commodities including oil, was narrowly approved by the agency’s five commissioners last October. The measure was part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that was designed to bring tough new oversight to Wall Street, including limiting excessive speculation.” [Reuters, 3/5/12]

 

2011 Report: Wall Street Speculators Contributed To 2008 Gas Price Spike, Could “Fuel Calls For A Crackdown On Oil Speculators.” In August 2011 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The world of oil investors reached far beyond Wall Street in recent years as foreign pension funds, corporate icons and even an Ivy League endowment placed big wagers on oil prices, according to a list compiled by U.S. regulators… The list could fuel calls for a crackdown on oil speculators, a label critics apply to those who trade in oil but don’t use or produce it. Banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, which have long played a central role in oil trading, dominate the list. Also featured prominently are producers and consumers such as BP PLC and Delta Air Lines Inc., which buy and sell large amounts of oil products.” [Wall Street Journal, 8/18/11]

 

WSJ: “Wall Street Was The Biggest Presence,” With Goldman Sachs Topping The List. In August 2011 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Wall Street was the biggest presence because banks often take one side of over-the-counter trades. Goldman topped the list, with the equivalent of 451,997 contracts that would profit if oil rose, or ‘long’ bets, and 419,324 contracts that would pay off if prices dropped, or ‘short’ bets. Much of that likely represented Goldman being on the other side of client trades, according to people familiar with the matter. [Wall Street Journal, 8/18/11]

 

Heller Has Taken $13,000 From Goldman Sachs’ PAC. According to CQ Moneyline, Dean Heller’s contributions from Goldman Sachs PAC are: $3,000 on October 31, 2008; $5,000 on November 1, 2010; $2,500 on January 19, 2011; and $2,500 on February 16, 2011. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 3/27/12]

 

Feb. 2012: McClatchy Newspapers Headline: “Once Again, Speculators Behind Sharply Rising Oil And Gasoline Prices.” [McClatchy Newspapers, 2/21/12]

 

McClatchy: When Wall Street Traders “Dominate the Market, As They Do, Speculator’s Bids Can Make Their Prophecies Self-Fulfilling.” In February 2012 McClatchy Newspapers wrote, “Historically, financial speculators accounted for about 30 percent of oil trading in commodity markets, while producers and end users made up about 70 percent. Today it’s almost the reverse. A McClatchy review of the latest Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates oil trading, shows that producers and merchants made up just 36 percent of all contracts traded in the week ending Feb. 14. That same week, open interest, or the total outstanding oil contracts for next-month delivery of 1,000 barrels of oil (about 42,000 gallons), stood near an all-time high above 1.486 million. Speculators who’ll never take delivery of oil made up 64 percent of the market. Not surprisingly, big Wall Street traders on Tuesday projected oil will rise above $112 a barrel; some such as Swiss giant Vitol even suggested $150-a-barrel oil is coming soon. When they dominate the market, as they do, speculators’ bids can make their prophecies self-fulfilling.” [McClatchy Newspapers, 2/21/12]

 

Big Oil

 

TODAY’S Las Vegas Sun: Heller Not In Favor Of “Raising Taxes On Anyone – Including Oil And Gas Companies” Before A Larger Conversation On Closing Tax Loopholes Occurs. [Las Vegas Sun, 3/27/12]

 

Heller Voted At Least NINE Times To Protect Tax Credits For Big Oil Companies. [Vote 63, 3/29/12Vote 72, 5/17/11; Vote 153, 3/01/11; Vote 649, 9/26/08Vote 78, 2/27/08; Vote 80, 2/27/08; Vote 1140, 12/06/07; Vote 835, 8/4/07; Vote 40, 1/18/07]

 

Las Vegas Sun: “Heller Has Been Protective Of The Current Tax Code, Which Provide Breaks To Oil And Gas Companies.” [Las Vegas Sun, 3/27/12]

 

Anjeanette Damon, Las Vegas Sun: Heller “Repeatedly Has Voted Against Efforts To End Oil Company Tax Credits, Has Supported Easing Drilling Restrictions And Back Other Policies Favorable To The Industry. In Return, The Industry Has Supported Heller, Contributing Heavily To His Campaigns For The House And Now Senate.” In September 2011 the Las Vegas Sun’s Anjeanette Damon wrote, “Oil companies bringing in substantial profits as the recession drags on are easy to paint as villains, particularly as public opinion mounts for eliminating their tax breaks to help solve the debt crisis. The nexus between Heller and the oil industry is much better defined. He repeatedly has voted against efforts to end oil company tax credits, has supported easing drilling restrictions and backed other policies favorable to the industry. In return, the industry has supported Heller, contributing heavily to his campaigns for the House and now Senate.” [Las Vegas Sun, 9/27/11]

 

Heller Has Accepted Over $210,000 From The Oil And Gas Industry Throughout His Congressional Career. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Dean Heller has accepted $210,050 from the oil and gas industry over the course of his Congressional career. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 3/26/12]

 

Heller Voted To Protect Oil Industry From Oversight After Deadly BP Explosion And Oil Spill. In 2010, Heller voted against a bill that would lift the $75 million cap on liability for offshore oil spills and revamp federal oversight of the industry by eliminating the Minerals Management Service. The responsibilities of the MMS would be split among three new agencies in the Interior Department. The measure was supported as a means to prevent another potential catastrophe like the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, which killed 11 workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the measure would reduce the deficit by $1.7 billion through fiscal 2020. It imposed stiffer penalties for oil rig safety violations, required independent certifications of key drilling equipment and banned the practice of granting environmental waivers for drilling plans. The measure passed, 209-193. [CQ Today, 7/30/10; CNN, 7/30/10; HR 3534, Vote #513, 7/30/10]

 

While Big Oil Companies Made Record Profits In 2011, Former Shell CEO John Hofmeister Acknowledged Big Oil Companies Don’t Need Taxpayer-Funded Subsidies.

 

Former Shell CEO John Hofmeister: Large Oil Companies “Don’t Need Tax Subsidies When Oil Prices Are High.” In February 2011 the National Journal wrote, “Large oil companies don’t need tax subsidies when oil prices are high, a former CEO of Shell Oil said Thursday. ‘In the face of sustained high oil prices it was not an issue—for large companies—of needing the subsidies to entice us into looking for and producing more oil,’ John Hofmeister told National Journal Daily.” [National Journal, 2/11/11]

 

Big Oil Companies Made A Combined $137 Billion In Profits in 2011, Up 75% from 2010.  According to the Center for American Progress, “General economic theory holds that companies will produce more of a good if its price is higher, or if it receives subsidies. Funny that these rules didn’t seem to apply to Big Oil in 2011, when the highest oil price since 1864 and $2 billion in subsidies to the five largest oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—yielded lower oil production than in 2010. But these five oil companies combined made a record-high $137 billion in profits in 2011—up 75 percent from 2010—and have made more than $1 trillion in profits from 2001 through 2011. This exceeds the previous record of $136 billion in profits in 2008.”  [Center for American Progress, 2/7/12] 

 

Heller’s First Major Vote As Senator Was To Protect Taxpayer Giveaways To Big Oil.

 

Heller Voted Against Motion To Proceed To Consideration Of Legislation That Would Repeal Billions In Tax Breaks For Big Oil Companies In Order To Reduce The Federal Deficit. In May 2011 Dean Heller voted against the motion to proceed to the consideration of S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act. The legislation is described as “A bill to reduce the Federal budget deficit by closing big oil tax loopholes, and for other purposes.” According to the Las Vegas Sun, the legislation would “save about $2 billion a year over the next decade.” [S. 940, Vote #72, 5/17/11; Las Vegas Sun, 5/17/11]

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