Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Sanders, Ellison Introduce End Polluter Welfare Act

Apr 22, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, April 22 – As the nation marked Earth Day, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to close tax loopholes and eliminate other subsidies for the oil, gas and coal industries.          

Subsidies for polluters now in place are projected to cost taxpayers more than $135 billion in the coming decade.

Sanders’ Senate bill and Ellison’s companion measure filed today in the House would remove tax breaks for fossil-fuel industries and ensure that taxpayers receive a fair return for energy resources owned by the American people and make research into renewable energy a national priority. The measures also would prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs from their taxes. 

“At a time when scientists tell us we need to reduce carbon pollution to prevent catastrophic climate change, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies that pad fossil-fuel companies’ already enormous profits,” Sanders said.

At a time when fossil-fuel companies are racking up record profits, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies to pad their already enormous earnings,” Sanders said.

“The biggest U.S. oil company made more than $32 billion in profits last year. They don’t need any more tax giveaways,” Ellison said. 

The five most profitable oil companies (ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhilips) together made more than $1 trillion in profits over the past decade.

The legislation is supported by environmental groups including the League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and others.

To read the bill, click here.

To read a summary, click here.