Pelosi, Senate Finance members probe BP’s $10 billion tax-credit plan

Various House lawmakers recently introduced at least three separate bills that would prevent BP from claiming a $9.9 billion reduction in taxes. The bills offered by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) deny deductions based on cleanup and damages costs.

“This simple bill ensures that oil companies are not paying for the spill with one hand while robbing American taxpayers with the other. It will close a loophole that would otherwise allow BP and other companies to escape responsibility to pay for cleanup of their own oil spills,” states a letter that Connolly and co-sponsor Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.) are circulating to colleagues to corral support.

BP’s planned deduction stems from the $32.2 billion it announced in late July would be set aside for its spill expenses, including roughly $3 billion in response costs to date and future costs that include the $20 billion fund being established for damages claims.

Two members of the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday they are reviewing the tax credit as well.

“We are looking at that,” said Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who declined to provide further details.

“There has been a lot of discussion about that,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). “In my judgment we need to seriously look at that.” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), another member of the Finance panel, last month urged committee leaders to probe BP’s tax plan.

—Cross-posted from E2-Wire. 

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