WASHINGTON (WWJ) – The U.S. Senate has failed to come up with enough votes to pass a bill repealing $2 billion in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies.
Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950, Michigan Senator Carl Levin said those companies don’t deserve tax breaks while they’re earning huge profits, and consumers are paying four-dollars-a-gallon for gas.
Levin said supporters will try again to get the bill passed as part of a deficit reduction package in Congress.
“There’s just no justification, when you’ve got five oil companies making $36 billion in profits in the last quarter alone, to continue what amounts to subsidies. These are loopholes that the oil companies have been able to obtain and they’re not justifiable when you’ve got huge deficits in a very, very profitable industry,” Levin said.
Levin did not mince words when asked by WWJ why gas prices are so high.
“Because they can get away with it,” Levin said. “There is no other simple explanation as far as I’m concerned. It’s not a matter of supply and demand. The inventories are high, so it’s not supply/demand. Supply is great,” he said.
A Republican measure designed to increase offshore drilling was scheduled for a Senate vote later Wednesday, although Levin said it was not expected to pass, either.