Yes, Congressman Rehberg, Democrats Want Big Oil Companies to Pay Their Fair Share

Helena, MT -- Millionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg has fallen under criticism for his blind defense of giveaways for big oil, in spite of soaring deficits, rising gas prices and near record profits.

In an article in published in the Lee Newspapers on Sunday Congressman Rehberg responded to the criticism by saying,

“How can Democrats bash oil and on the other hand want (oil) money to support the schools and all the other things they want for the state?”

Here’s the problem – Big Oil HASN'T lived up to their responsibility to support education and pay down the debt.

How has Big Oil gotten away without paying their fair share? Because their ‘longtime friend’ Congressman Rehberg has spent ten years in Washington DC handing out massive giveaways to Big Oil

The article also reports that Congressman Rehberg “doesn’t see why an oil company should pay both foreign and U.S. taxes on the same production, and that eliminating the domestic production credit doesn’t make much sense.” 

Letting Big Oil avoid paying their fair share in America cheats us out of revenue that would drive down the debt. But under Congressman Rehberg’s plan, Big Oil could help pay down the debt in Great Britain, Holland, or wherever else multi-national oil companies are headquartered.

“It’s time for Congressman Rehberg to face facts – his friends in Big Oil are not living up to their responsibility to pay down the debt,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “If Congressman Rehberg was really concerned about paying down the debt, he would make sure his longtime friends in Big Oil are paying their fair share.”

More background on Congressman Rehberg's cozy relationship with Big Oil: 

Congressman Rehberg has received nearly $300,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Rehberg has received $293,651 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry over the course of his career [Center for Responsive Politics, Accessed 5/16/11].

May 5, 2011 –Congressman Rehberg voted to block a vote on a motion to repeal the Section 199 domestic manufacturing tax credit for the five largest oil companies [Vote 293, 5/05/11].

April 20, 2011 – Congressman Rehberg Attended Fundraiser Co-Hosted by Lobbying Director of BP on Anniversary of BP Oil Spill. As reported by Roll Call, “Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D), attended a fundraiser in Denver on Wednesday headlined by former elected officials and several executives from companies with a presence in the region, including British Petroleum. The event took place on the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and according to an invitation obtained by Roll Call, it was co-hosted by Chad Calvert, a director of government and public affairs at BP America.” [Roll Call, 4/21/11]

February 18, 2011 – Congressman Rehberg Opposed Reducing Deficit By $53 Billion By Closing Loophole Allowing Oil Companies to Avoid Paying Royalties. In February 2011, Rehberg voted against the Markey (MA) Amendment (#27) that required oil companies that hold royalty-free leases allowing them to drill for free on the public's offshore lands to renegotiate those leases so that the public is paid the standard royalty charged for drilling. (GAO estimates that closing this loophole could save up to $53 billion over 25 years) [HR 1, House Roll Call Vote #109, 2/18/11]. The amendment would have saved $1.5 billion in 2011, $53 billion over 10 years [Times-Picayune, 2/18/11].

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