Scott Brown votes to protect subsidies for Big Oil [View all]
Senate votes to protect oil company subsidies
By Steve Benen
President Obama spoke from the White House's South Lawn this morning, urging Congress to end the $4 billion in tax subsidies oil and natural gas companies receive from the government every year. Obama noted that "Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour" last year, and simply doesn't need taxpayer subsidies on top of companies' massive profits.
The president added "it's like hitting the American people twice."
Even if the bill had gained Senate approval, House passage was extremely unlikely, but the vote will likely play a role in the Democrats' election-year message. Vulnerable incumbents like Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) toed the party line on oil subsidies, and it seems likely that voters in Massachusetts and Nevada will be reminded of this morning's vote in the fall.
Big Oil Runs Ads For Scott Brown, Breaking ‘People’s Pledge’ Ad Ban
By Rebecca Leber
The oil lobby group American Petroleum Institute launched ads in Massachusetts late last week on behalf of Koch-funded candidate Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), as part of its $2 million national campaign to protect oil subsidies.
Unfortunately for Brown, the ads violate the “People’s Pledge” he made with Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren earlier this year, banning outside group spending in the race. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign manager Mindy Myers noted the oil-subsidy ads “are funded by big oil and clearly support Brown’s position”:
It has come to our attention that the American Petroleum Institute has been running radio and print ads to support Senator Scott Brown’s position on tax breaks for big oil companies. Given Senator Brown’s past vote in support of these tax breaks, and the fact that these ads are funded by big oil and clearly support Brown’s position on this issue, this is a violation of the People’s Pledge.
According to the agreement, when an ad runs the candidate who benefits must donate the sum to charity. This is already the second time Brown has cut a check because of outside groups supporting his campaign.
The Warren-Brown deal may minimize dirty Super PAC tactics in their own race, but it doesn’t prevent outside group interests from dictating Brown’s voting record. Koch Industries has donated $15,250 to Brown’s campaign this cycle, and he’s taken in close to $200,000 from oil and gas during his career. Before he voted against the oil subsidy repeal last year, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Exxon contributed to Brown’s campaign.