Reader questions oil subsidy elimination

Big Oil.JPGIn my column in Sunday’s News Sentinel, I supported elimination of the $4 billion in annual tax subsidies enjoyed by the oil industry. It would be a good start toward solving the financial crisis facing the federal government.
My suggestion prompted a call from a spetical reader who wanted to know specifically what tax breaks the oil industry enjoys that aren’t available to other industries.
It’s a good question and I appreciate the call. I was referring to tax breaks of various kinds, some are specific to the oil business and some are also available to other kinds of companies.

The tax breaks range from deductions for drilling and production costs specific to the oil industry to foreign tax credits available to many different businesses.
Earlier this year, a bill to eliminate oil industry subsidies was defeated in the Senate.
Here’s a story by the National Journal that does a good job of breaking down the oil industry tax breaks.
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Photo: In this July 14, 2008 file photo, oil pump jacks work in a field near the Houston Ship Channel in Baytown, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)