Benishek takes heat for saying ‘oil companies pay their fair share’
The League of Conservation Voters is criticizing Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls) for his recent claim that the heavily-subsidized oil industry pays enough in taxes.
At a public forum in Petoskey this week Benisek said that while it’s important to close tax loopholes, he feels that oil companies pay enough.
“(Democrats) talk about raising the taxes on the oil companies. I think oil companies pay their fair share,” Benishek said, according to the Petoskey News-Review. “I can understand where the oil company wants to deduct the cost of drilling a well. That’s one of the tax breaks for oil companies — the subsidies — they get to deduct the cost of the well the year you drill.”
The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says that Benishek’s views on the reasonableness of oil company tax breaks, and his voting record, are inspired by contributions from oil companies.
The group said that Benishek accepted $11,000 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies in the first six months of the year.
“Stating that ‘oil companies pay their fair share’ as they get billions in unnecessary tax breaks is, unfortunately, only saying out loud how he actually votes back in Washington,” Michigan League of Conservation Voters Political Director Ryan Werder said in a statement. “He voted six times to protect tax breaks for his donors in the oil industry and then cast another 45 votes against the programs and funding that keep Michigan’s air breathable and our water safe.”
Benishek did not respond to a request for comment on LCV’s concerns.
Congress has rejected moves to end oil company subsidies despite a Congressional Research Service report that indicated that closing some of them would save $21 billion without affecting gas prices.