From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release
Rahall Fights to Bring Relief at the Pump
Washington, D.C. – As gas prices continue to soar to record highs, U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) today announced his support for legislation to bring relief at the gas pump and eliminate wasteful taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil.

“Like kudzu, gas prices keep shooting up, choking small businesses and working families.  Big Oil is raking in record profits hand over fist, while still demanding handouts from the American taxpayer,” said Rahall.  “We need to stop padding the profits of multinational oil corporations by picking the pockets of hardworking West Virginia families.  This legislation will ease the pain at the pump while also reducing the deficit by making oil companies pay their fair share.”

Taxpayer and Gas Price Relief Act (H.R. 1749)

The legislation Rahall is supporting, the Taxpayer and Gas Price Relief Act, works to reduce gas prices and the deficit by:

Ending Biggest Tax Breaks for Big Oil:  Saves taxpayers $31 billion over ten years by eliminating three of the largest tax breaks for the five major oil companies -- such as a giveaway in the 2004 international tax law (Section 199), accounting rules, and the immediate write off for intangible drilling costs.

Making Oil Companies Pay their Fair Share:  Saves taxpayers over $2 billion by fixing a flaw in 1998 and 1999 leases in the Gulf of Mexico that currently allows oil companies to drill without paying any royalties that could cost American taxpayers up to $53 billion over the next 25 years.  Republicans rejected this proposal by a vote of 174-251 despite their calls to reduce the deficit.

Releasing Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve:  Expands the authority of the President to release oil from the SPR to combat market manipulation and curb speculation, temporarily release up to 5 percent of the oil from the government’s stockpile and replace it later with refined products like gasoline or diesel – in order to bring down prices now and update the reserves to provide for long-term security. The stockpile is 100% full, and past releases have brought down gasoline prices by up to 33 percent.

Stopping Price Gouging:  Makes it illegal to sell gasoline at excessive prices and helps prevents Big Oil and the industry from taking advantage of consumers and engaging in price gouging.  This is real help for consumers in this difficult economic time.

Reducing the Deficit:  This bill would bring in at least $33 billion over ten years to responsibly reduce the deficit or spur American clean energy.