Letter to Supercommittee: End Taxpayer Subsidies to Big Oil to Reduce Deficit

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Yesterday our friends at Oil Change International, along with 52 other groups, sent a letter to the members of the supercommittee demanding that the elimination of government handouts to the oil, coal and gas industries be a central part of the deficit reduction plan they are to present to the full Congress by November 23rd.

Big Oil companies, despite the bad economy ordinary Americans continue to struggle in, continue to post record profits. They clearly don't need taxpayer subsidies, but as one of the largest donors to members of Congress, they continue to get them. This would seem like an obvious place to start when looking for deficit-reduction measures, but this might prove difficult when you consider the amount of campaign cash members of the supercommittee have received from Big Oil in their careers.

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the supercommittee has received a total of $2,445,159 from oil and gas interests since 1989, with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) leading the way with $352,816. Here's a breakdown of each members' Big Oil campaign money:

Member Oil & Gas Money
Sen. Pat Toomey $352,816
Sen. Jon Kyl $334,332
Sen. Max Baucus $324,115
Sen. Rob Portman $317,958
Rep. Jeb Hensarling $293,800
Rep. Fred Upton $286,350
Rep. Dave Camp $271,662
Sen. John Kerry $102,810
Sen. Patty Murray $57,366
Rep. James Clyburn $51,500
Rep. Chris Van Hollen $31,500
Rep. Xavier Becerra $20,950
Total $2,445, 159

It's hard to ignore these numbers. We'll know soon whether the supercommittee will look out for Americans who are struggling and come up with a balanced approach, or if they'll stand with their corporate and special interest campaign donors.