Press Release

Apr 26, 2011

Markey on BP Profit Announcement: Time to Cap the Gusher of Big Oil Tax Breaks

Even Worst-Case Year for BP Leads to $1b Increase in Profits From 2010; Conoco Also Announces $1b Increase in Profits

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2011) – Even after a major oil spill, huge capital costs and a restructuring of the company, and Russian oil deals on the rocks during the last year, BP’s net profits increased by $1 billion in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the first quarter of 2010, from $6.08 billion to $7.12 billion. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, said today that the continued strength of an oil giant even following the strain of the spill, combined with the high price of oil, shows that tax breaks for oil companies aren’t needed and should be eliminated to save taxpayers money and move towards clean energy.

“When BP makes billions in profits, even after the year they just had, you know it’s time to cap the gusher of tax breaks that have been subsidizing the biggest oil companies for decades,” said Rep. Markey. “Speaker Boehner must bring legislation to the floor next week that will cut these tax breaks once and for all. Oil companies may have stopped the BP oil spill, but they want to keep the flow of taxpayer dollars going, even as they make billions in profits from those same taxpayers at the pump. American consumers are paying once for oil company tax breaks, and then paying them again at the pump.”

ConocoPhillips also announced an increase in profits, rising to $3.03 billion from $2.1 billion a year earlier.

Rep. Markey and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) have introduced legislation to cut the budget by ending roughly $40 billion over five years in wasteful subsidies to the oil industry. The “Ending Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act” (H.R. 601) eliminates subsidies that have worsened the deficit, weakened our energy security, undermined our ability to drive investment in sources of renewable energy, and damaged the environment.

Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner indicated that he is open to cutting some of these tax breaks.