Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen

Cutting tax breaks may pay for stimulus

Scott Tong Sep 8, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Cutting tax breaks may pay for stimulus

Scott Tong Sep 8, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: To pay for some of President Obama’s economic ideas — such as fixing infrastructure — he’s trying to eliminate some tax breaks. Specifically, some deductions that oil and gas companies currently enjoy.

From the Sustainability Desk in Washington, Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports.


SCOTT TONG: A big chunk of the $50 billion the president wants to pay for new infrastructure would come from cutting tax breaks for drilling. One of those deductions lets oil and gas companies offset taxes they pay overseas. Another goes to firms producing oil and gas domestically.

Analyst Kevin Book at Clearview Energy Research says the environment’s bad for oil firms: In the spring they’d banked on a climate bill with give and take. Now the bill’s history, and with the BP fallout, it’s all about giving til it hurts.

KEVIN BOOK: For energy companies, the clamps are on. Regulation is still pervasive and increasing. And now Congress has a funding gap, and no reason to tie their hands behind their back when it comes to changing tax policy for fossil fuels.

Even if the president’s ideas fall flat, oil and gas subsidies are a frequently targeted ATM for other ideas, like tax breaks for renewable energy.

Petroleum industry groups say the changes would make American production less competitive — and increase imports of foreign energy.

In Washington, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.