Wyden Secures Bipartisan Senate Majority for Closing Tar Sands Tax Loophole
75 SENATORS NOW ON RECORD VOTING TO END SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR TAR SANDS OIL; WYDEN AMENDMENT SECURES BIPARTISAN MAJORITY VOTE
Washington, D.C. – Led by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., an overwhelming bipartisan majority of U.S. Senate, including dozens of Republicans, today voted to close a tax loophole that gives millions of dollars to tar sands oil producers and leaves American taxpayers on the hook if that oil spills.
“It is very significant that more than 70 senators voted for a nonbinding resolution to close an outlandish tax loophole that favors Canadian tar sands producers over American oil and American taxpayers,” Wyden said. “I’m disappointed Republicans did not vote to end this loophole today, but for colleagues seeking areas of common ground, today’s overwhelming vote means closing the tar sands loophole should be the first order of business. I won’t let this issue go until the loophole is closed for good and tar sands producers are paying their fair share.”
Wyden introduced an amendment last week to a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline that would treat tar sands oil like other types of crude oil under the federal tax code, and require tar sands producers to pay into to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Currently, tar sands oil producers do not pay into the trust fund, giving Canadian tar sands special treatment compared to other oil producers, including U.S. producers, which already pay into the fund.
A majority of voting senators supported Wyden’s amendment, on a bipartisan 50-47 vote, but the amendment needed 60 votes to pass under Senate rules. A bipartisan coalition of 75 members stood with Wyden in support of a companion measure offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. That amendment passed overwhelmingly - marking the first time the United States Senate has agreed on the need to close the loophole. Wyden committed to raise the issue on any viable bill moving through the Senate.
Wyden opposes the Keystone XL pipeline and has voted against it every time it was considered on the Senate floor.
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