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Tax Incentives For Big Oil45:58
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Deborah Amos in for Tom Ashbrook.

With fuel prices climbing higher and oil companies posting near record profits, policymakers in Washington are reconsidering tax breaks for big oil. We look at the politics and policy surrounding the issue.

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, right, accompanied by fellow oil company executives, testified on Capitol Hill last week on the issue of tax incentives for the industry. (AP)
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, right, accompanied by fellow oil company executives, testified on Capitol Hill last week on the issue of tax incentives for the industry. (AP)

With gas prices at $4 a gallon, oil often sailing past $100 per barrel and record profits for the industry, who thinks the big five oil companies still need tax breaks?

Three-quarters of Americans say they want the special treatment to end. Democrats are proposing a bill to eliminate key deductions, but oil executives charge it is reckless to single out companies that create jobs and open new wells.

Do we get more pain at the pump and less drilling for more oil if subsidies disappear?

This hour, On Point: The recovered oil billions—at what price.

- Deborah Amos

Guests:

Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democratic senator for Ohio. He is co-sponsor of a bill that would reduce tax incentives for the nation's five biggest oil companies.

Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation. She's author of "Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long Strange Trip to Your Tank."

John Hofmeister, former CEO of Shell Oil. Founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy. He's author of "Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk From an Energy Insider."

Brian Johnson, senior tax advisor at the American Petroleum Institute.

This program aired on May 17, 2011.

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