On Monday evening the Senate is scheduled to take up my legislation, S. 2204, the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act. People I talk to all across my home state of New Jersey want to know why they're stuck paying close to $4.00 for a gallon of gasoline while these companies receive billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and rake in record profits. In effect they are paying Big Oil at the pump and a second time when they file their taxes. This must stop.
Over the last decade, the Big Five oil companies - BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell - made nearly $1 trillion in profits -- in the last year alone, the figure reached a record-breaking $137 billion in profits. And for every penny that the price of gasoline increases, Big Oil makes an additional $200 million per quarter.
I believe that we should stop spending taxpayer dollars on 19th century fuels and embrace the clean, renewable technologies of the 21st century. That is why my bill takes some of the savings gained from the repeal of government subsidies to Big Oil and invests them in clean energy programs that create jobs in the solar, wind, biofuels, and clean energy manufacturing industries. These are proven programs such as the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program, which has since 2009 created over $35 billion in investment and tens of thousands of energy projects. In New Jersey alone 750 grants were given for solar, geothermal, landfill gas, hydropower and wind projects. These projects are worth over $350 million, have created many jobs and will help save New Jersey on energy bills for decades to come.
Last year, when we attempted to repeal oil subsidies we managed to get 52 votes in support, but the power of Big Oil ensured the bill was filibustered, requiring 60 votes for passage. I need your help. Please urge your Senator to join me in repealing Big Oil subsidies, investing in a clean energy future, creating jobs, and lowering the deficit. It's time to stand up for American families and stand up to Big Oil.
In addition, next Wednesday, March 28th at 3:30 PM I will be conducting a Twitter Town Hall focused on energy policy. To participate, simply tweet your question today with the hashtag #AskMenendez. You can watch me answer questions via a livestream that will be available on March 28th on my website at www.menendez.senate.gov/twittertownhall.