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Oil & Gas Industry Gives Nearly Half a Million Dollars to Heller, Gets Windfall from his Tax Bill

A new analysis of Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s tax bill reminds us that Big Banks on Wall Street aren’t the only giant corporations rejoicing over the passage of the plan—the nation’s biggest oil and gas companies are making out like bandits. Oil and gas companies are experts at finding tax loopholes, and many pay far below the corporate tax rate. Thanks to Heller’s tax bill, some oil and gas companies are now actually getting millions in tax refunds.

Pacific Standard: Inside the Tax Bill’s $25 Billion Oil Company Bonanza

Pacific Standard’s original analysis finds that it is the oil and gas industry, including companies that backed the presidency of Trump and whose former executives and current boosters now populate it, that are among the tax bill’s largest and most long-lasting financial beneficiaries.

Just 17 American oil and gas companies reported a combined total of $25 billion in direct one-time benefits from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Many of the companies will also receive millions of dollars in income tax refunds this year. Looking forward, the Tax Act then reduces all corporate annual tax bills by a minimum of 40 percent every year in perpetuity, while adding new benefits that function as government subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Over the course of his political career in Washington, Sen. Heller has taken nearly half a million dollars in campaign cash from oil and gas companies, including six of the Big Oil companies that have benefited the most from the tax plan.And if there is one thing Nevadans know about Sen. Heller, it’s that his top priorities are taking care of his own political career and his wealthy campaign donors. In fact, Sen. Heller has a lengthy history of helping out his highly profitable Big Oil supporters:

  • In 2008, Heller opposed increasing taxes on oil companies.

  • In 2011, Heller voted against a bill that would have closed a $21 billion tax loophole for five of the biggest oil companies.

  • In 2012, Heller voted against rolling back tax breaks for oil and gas companies.

Nevada Democratic State Party spokesperson Sarah Abel released the following statement:

“Sen. Heller sells out Nevadans for corporate special interests whenever it’s politically convenient, and this reckless tax bill is no different. Instead of delivering on the promise of much-needed relief for the middle class, Heller’s tax bill is a giveaway to his oil and gas donors while working families pay the price with higher health care costs and spiraling debt. Voters will hold Heller accountable for taking care of Big Oil at Nevada’s expense.”