No Apologies: Rep. Barton Defends Tax Breaks For Big Oil

By Cullen Dirner

Mar 9, 2011 5:22pm

ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports:

With oil prices now more than $100 a barrel, gas prices pushing $4 a gallon and oil companies flush in profits, it might be worth asking whether it is time for Congress to scale back tax credits for the oil and gas industry.

The budget President Obama submitted to Congress last month proposed repealing $3.6 billion in oil and gas subsidies – subsidies that come in the form of tax credits – in 2012.  The White House estimates that repealing those tax credits would bring in $46 billion in revenue over the next 10 years.

As the oil and gas industry gears up to fight that effort, it has no better friend than Representative Joe Barton (R-TX).  Barton made a splash when he apologized to BP CEO Andrew Hayward and called the Obama Administration’s investigation of BP a “shakedown.” 

Barton knows the industry well.  He worked for the Atlantic Ridgefield Oil and Gas Company before he was elected to Congress in 1984.

We caught up with Barton at his Congressional office and asked him why he is still defending tax credits to an industry making record profits. 

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