Katie Porter scolds oil executive: ‘Please don’t patronize me’

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) fired back this week at an oil company executive during an argument about tax breaks for the industry.

“Please don’t patronize me by telling me that the oil and gas industry doesn’t have any special tax provisions. Because if you would like that to be the rule, I would be happy to have Congress deliver,” Porter told Mark Murphy, president of Strata Production Company, in a subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

The exchange happened during a Natural Resources subpanel meeting and came only a week after the lawmaker introduced the Ending Taxpayer Welfare for Oil and Gas Companies Act, which she says would raise royalties, rental rates, inspection fees, and penalties on oil and gas companies that extract resources from public lands.”

Murphy argued during the hearing that his company does not get any special tax breaks.

“There seems to be a misconception out there that you’re operating from that somehow the oil and gas industry have benefits from some special sort of tax structure. We don’t,” he said.

“You do benefit from special rules. There’s a special tax rule for intangible drilling costs that does not apply to other kinds of expenses that businesses have. You get to deduct 70 percent of your costs immediately, and other businesses have to amortize their expenses over their entire profit stream,” Porter responded.

Porter has been a big supporter of stricter protections for the environment and of laws she believes will help stop climate change, including tougher restrictions on fossil fuel companies.

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