Business Leaders Urge Congress to End Oil Subsidies

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2011

CONTACT:

American Sustainable Business Council — Richard Eidlin, 303-478-0131, [email protected]

Business Leaders Urge Congress to End Oil Subsidies and Direct Limited Resources to Deficit Reduction and Job Creation

Washington, D.C. — Business leaders called on Congress today to limit the billions in subsidies to the oil industry and reprioritize the country’s limited financial resources towards approaches that will create jobs, reduce the deficit, and foster future economic growth.  The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), in a letter to Members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, stated that when businesses face economic distress they must rearrange priorities and that Congress should do no less as it grapples with massive deficits.

“With millions of Americans out of work, a soaring deficit, and the United States at a financial breaking point, it’s hard to imagine how $21 billion in tax subsidies to the top 5 oil companies over the next decade can possibly be justified,” said American Sustainable Business Council, Jeffrey Hollender (Co-founder of ASBC and former CEO, Seventh Generation).  “In a time of record high oil prices, these subsidies are hardly required to incent drilling and create jobs.  The only thing they do is drain billions from the U.S. Treasury while their recipients reap billions in profits.”

According to the Citizens for Tax Justice, oil companies rather than investing in new reserves, which theoretically would increase supply and lower prices, are more often directing subsidies toward stock purchases and dividends that reward shareholders.  Recent poll numbers show that over 70% of Americans favor cutting oil subsidies.  The Energy Information Administration finds that it costs $15 a barrel to find and produce oil in the United States – which is now selling for around $100 a barrel.

“While oil companies would have us believe that cutting their subsidies would increase gas prices and harm job creation, any smart business leader knows these assertions are patently false” said Frank Knapp, President of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.  “Meanwhile, Congress is cutting tax benefits to small business to provide healthcare and proposing cuts to funding for alternative energy research that would generate immediate employment and help secure America’s future energy independence.  Talk about a misguided, job killing approach!”

ASBC members are asking Congress to end all oil company subsidies, in order to spur job growth and rebuild our economy. A copy of the groups’ letter is available at www.asbcouncil.org.

The American Sustainable Business Council: is a growing coalition of business networks and businesses committed to advancing a new vision, framework and policies that support a vibrant, equitable and sustainable economy. The Council brings together the business perspective, experience and political will and strength to stimulate our economy, benefit our communities, and preserve our environment. Today, the organizations that have joined in this partnership represent over 100,000 businesses and more than 200,000 entrepreneurs, owners, executives, investors and business professionals and other individuals. www.asbcouncil.org