Coffman, Tipton making Coloradans “pay twice” on Tax Day for gas at the pump
Fat Cat takes photos with car drivers calling on end to taxpayer handouts to Big Oil
Car and truck drivers filling up at the pump had a chance to fight back against high gas prices – by taking part in a photo petition with their gas receipts and a costumed “Fat Cat” calling on an end to special tax breaks and subsidies to the oil and gas industry.
Clean Water Action and Colorado Conservation Voters crashed gas stations in Aurora, Denver, and Pueblo in an effort to highlight the more than $9.4 billion in annual oil and gas subsidies. Coloradans shoulder more than $157 million of the burden for oil and gas tax breaks.
“It’s high time Coloradans stop paying twice for gas – once at the pump and again on Tax Day,” said Gary Wockner, director of Clean Water Action. “We should end the billions in taxpayer handouts to Big Oil fat cats, but Reps. Mike Coffman and Scott Tipton have voted a half dozen times to protect Big Oil tax breaks. Where’s my subsidy?”
Wockner said the events were in part a response to groups such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads have polluted the political debate by spending millions to run misleading ads on energy.
Coloradans are paying just over $3.85 a gallon for gas, $0.29 more per gallon than one year ago. While Colorado families struggle to adjust to higher energy prices, the top five oil and gas companies alone reported $137 billion in profits this past year.
Oil and gas interests have given more than $6.8 million in campaign contributions to members of Congress so far this election cycle, 88 percent of which went to Republican members.
Rep. Mike Coffman has taken $164,800 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, and Rep. Scott Tipton has taken $104,600.
“Big Oil is buying-off our members of Congress, including Reps. Coffman and Tipton, to keep protect billions in special tax breaks,” said Wockner. “No wonder the only solution to gas prices these politicians offer-up are gimmicks like ‘drill, baby, drill.”
“Instead of taking money from Big Oil, the Congressmen should vote to end Big Oil tax breaks and reinvest those funds in long term solutions such as transportation improvements, the next generation of renewable fuels, and high tech vehicles,” concluded Wockner.
A recent Hart Research Associates poll found that Colorado and New Mexico voters support public officials that favor ending oil and gas tax breaks and cracking down on Big Oil over a drill-only approach by a ratio of 2-to-1.