Merkley Statement on Soaring Profits for Big Oil

Washington, D.C. – Two of the world’s biggest oil companies announced billions in profits today and the rest of the industry is expected to post similarly high numbers later this week.  BP recorded a first-quarter profit of $7.1 billion and ConocoPhillips recorded a $3.03 billion profit – and yet gas prices in the U.S. have jumped a dollar per gallon in the last year while oil companies continue to receive billions in subsidies.  Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement in response to the profit postings:

“Oregon families are looking under sofa cushions to scrape together enough money to fill up their tanks, and now we see where those hard-earned dollars are going.  Families may be spending late nights around their kitchen tables worrying about their finances, but oil company executives are around their boardroom tables celebrating.

“So why are some in Congress still fighting to protect Big Oil’s massive multi-billion dollar subsidies?

“Every time Oregonians fill up, they’re reminded how vulnerable we are – to unrest in the Middle East, to Wall Street speculators chasing a quick buck, to Big Oil lobbyists piling taxpayer subsidies on top of the billions they already get from us at the pump. 

“We need to break our dependence on oil.  And a great way to start is by repealing these wasteful subsidies and instead investing in developing clean, renewable, homegrown sources of energy so Americans are in control of our own economic future.”

Last year, Senator Merkley put forward an oil independence plan to eliminate all foreign imports from non-North American nations by 2030.  It includes steps to ramp up production and use of electric vehicles, increase efficiency of freight transportation, improve mass transit, develop alternative transportation fuels, and reduce the use of oil to heat buildings.

Read Senator Merkley’s oil independence plan online: