Sherrod Brown backs bill to cut tax breaks to Big Oil

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, unveiled a bill Tuesday that seeks to address rising gas prices by going after the world's top five oil companies.

His bill would save U.S. taxpayers between $15 billion and $20 billion over the next 10 years by rescinding tax breaks given to Exxon Mobil, BP, Conoco Phillips, Shell and Chevron. About $4 billion is handed out to oil companies each year, he said.

"Big Oil is reaping big profits while working- and middle-class Ohioans struggle to make ends meet," Brown said. "It's about time this corporate welfare meet its end."

Brown said the savings would come from recouping royalties that oil companies are exempted from paying for oil and gas production on public lands; preventing oil companies from avoiding paying full corporate taxes in the U.S.; and ending a number of tax deductions given to the oil industry, such as classifying oil production as manufacturing and allowing companies to deduct costs associated with preparing to drill.

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Sherrod Brown backs bill to cut tax breaks to Big Oil »