The President said in part, "Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make: They can stand with the big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people. Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits -- profits that go up every time folks pull up into a gas station. But on top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year -- billions a year in taxpayer subsidies -- a subsidy that they've enjoyed year after year for the last century. . .
"It's not as if these companies can't stand on their own. Last year, the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profits. Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour. And when the price of oil goes up, prices at the pump go up, and so do these companies' profits. In fact, one analysis shows that every time gas goes up by a penny, these companies usually pocket another $200 million in quarterly profits. Meanwhile, these companies pay a lower tax rate than most other companies on their investments, partly because we're giving them billions in tax giveaways every year. . .
"Instead of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that's never been more profitable, we should be using that money to double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising -- investments in wind power and solar power and biofuels; investments in fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and energy-efficient homes and buildings. That's the future. That's the only way we're going to break this cycle of high gas prices that happen year after year after year. As the economy is growing, the only time you start seeing lower gas prices is when the economy is doing badly. That's not the kind of pattern that we want to be in. We want the economy doing well, and people to be able to afford their energy costs. . .
"We're going to keep investing in clean energy like the wind power and solar power that's already lighting thousands of homes and creating thousands of jobs. We're going to keep manufacturing more cars and trucks to get more miles to the gallon so that you can fill up once every two weeks instead of every week. We're going to keep building more homes and businesses that waste less energy so that you're in charge of your own energy bills. . . Today, the American people are going to be watching Congress to see if they have that same faith."
While the President was speaking a majority of the Senate, 51 Senators voted for the bill to end the subsidies; however, under Senate rules 60 votes were required to approve the measure. Thus, the subsidies will continue, as 43 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted against the measure. The four Democrats included Senators Begich (D-AK), Landrieu (D-LA), Nelson (D-NE), and Webb (D-VA). Two Republicans, joined the Democrats and two Independents in supporting the measure -- Senators Collins (R-ME) and Snowe (R-ME). Two Republican Senators did not vote.
Access the complete statement from the President (click here). Access the roll call vote (click here). Access legislative details for S.2204 (click here). Access the statement and floor speech from Sen. Menendez (click here). Access the statement from Sen. Inhofe (click here). Access the statement from NRDC with links to related information (click here). Access the statement from Sierra Club (click here). Access the statement from API (click here). [#Energy/OilNatGas]