Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 16th, 2011 :: 1:32:45 to 1:38:25
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Carl Levin

1:32:40 to 1:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from mr. levin: i'd ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: the subsidies to oil gansdz companies in the form of tax breaks cost the federal government in the neighborhood of $4 billion a year, but most democrats, including this democrat, propose to do is to end those subsidies and to use

Carl Levin

1:32:45 to 1:38:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Carl Levin

Carl Levin

1:33:01 to 1:33:21( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the money that we save by ending them to reduce our federal budget deficit. this is not a complicated issue. if oil and gas companies were struggling, if a large number of jobs were at risk, if ending these subsidies threatened to increase the price that families have to pay for gasoline or fuel

Carl Levin

1:33:22 to 1:33:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: oil, or if ending them would create a drag on our economic recovery, if any of those things were true, this might be a closer call. but they're not true. we are subsidizing massively profitable oil companies. nearly every independent analyst and even some from the oil industry itself tells us that

Carl Levin

1:33:45 to 1:34:05( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: this proposal will not alter the economic fundamentals that determine gasoline prices. oil production and, therefore, the jobs that it creates, will not disee klein if we pass this bill -- will not decline if we pass this bill. struggling families and small businesses will not hurt. and by ending them, we can help close a budget deficit that we

Carl Levin

1:34:06 to 1:34:27( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: all agree is a significant problem. the arguments against this measure are misguided. republicans have claimed it would increase gas prices. independent economists disagree. for instance, the nonpartisan congressional research service reported last week that -- quote -- "prices are well in excess of cost, and a small increase of

Carl Levin

1:34:28 to 1:34:49( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: taxes would, thrforts, be less likely to reduce oil output and, hence, increase petroleum product gasoline prices. even the tax expert of the american petroleum expert said last week that the proposal -- quote -- "would not affect the global economics underpinning oil supply and demand," which

Carl Levin

1:34:50 to 1:35:11( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: explain today's gasoline prices." close quote. that's an important point to keep in mind. the price of oil depends on a number of is supply and demand for this internationally traded commode if i. another factor, one which i and several other senators believe bears further examination, is the role of speculation in that market.

Carl Levin

1:35:12 to 1:35:34( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: but the money that we're talking about saving is relatively small in the context of a massive global marketplace for oil. it is also small relative to the profits that oil companies have reached. the five companies that would be affected by the proposal that we support made a combined $76

Carl Levin

1:35:35 to 1:35:55( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: billion in profit in 2010. now, that's not revenue. that's not sales. that's profit. $76 billion in profit. from 2001 to 2010, their combined profit approached $1 trillion. the price of oil in the

Carl Levin

1:35:56 to 1:36:16( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: neighborhood of $100 a barrel, these record profits are likely to continue. these companies do not need taxpayer assistance. and at the same time the money to this awe spend helping them is increasing the budget deficit. the deficit that our republican friends say justifies making dramatic reductions in health

Carl Levin

1:36:17 to 1:36:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: care for our seniors, support for our college students, head start for our youngest students and other draconian cuts. yet tax breaks for companies making billions of dollars a year in profits is something they say we can afford. i don't buy it. more importantly, the american people don't buy it.

Carl Levin

1:36:39 to 1:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the american people know these tax breaks. we can't afford for companies that can more than afford to lose them are wrong. the know that if we're going to get sear imbrues about our debt problem, we need to eliminate tax expenditures that contribute to our deficit. they know that if we can't tackle such an obvious example of wasteful spending as this,

Carl Levin

1:37:01 to 1:37:21( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: further reform is unlikely. the american people recognize the fundamental unfairness of tax breaks for oil companies making billions in profits, at the same time working families are told they will have to do with less. last week when the c.e.o.'s of major oil companies testified before the finance committee,

Carl Levin

1:37:22 to 1:37:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: they said that they want to be treated just like everybody else. i say, fine. let's do that. let's tell the massively profitable oil companies not to expect tax subsidies from uncle sam. and let's expect those companies to give a little bit, as we address the budget deficit, just as middle-class american

Carl Levin

1:37:43 to 1:38:04( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: families are going to have to give a little bit, as we cut back on important programs for them. mr. president, our republican colleagues say that our deficits are unsustainable, and i agree. they say the deficit problem is you are urgent. and i agree. they say we must act, and i agree. and we can act.

Carl Levin

1:38:05 to 1:38:28( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: we can end these oil companies' subsidies. now is the time for all of us to act to end billions of dollars in handouts to massively profitable oil companies and use that money to help put our fiscal house in order.

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