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Exxon & Shell reap huge profits, spend big to keep tax breaks

28 Jul 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: General Political

Oil companies Exxon Mobil and Shell reported massive profits in the second quarter, yet continue to pump millions into lobbying and political efforts to keep oil subsidies and promote climate change denial, reports Think Progress.

Exxon profits rose 41% from last year, to a reported $10.7 billion, while Shell saw its profits jump 77% from the same period last year to an $8 billion in second quarter profits alone.  In 2011, Exxon Mobil—a company known for spending millions to promote climate change denial—spent over $3 million in lobbying. Shell similarly shelled out nearly $4 million in lobbying costs this year, and ranks among the top 20 in lobbying spending.

Meanwhile, oil companies continue to reap government-endorsed benefits at the expense of the American taxpayer.  “Exxon pays a lower effective tax rate than the average American,” TP points out.  “In the years spanning 2008 to 2010, Exxon paid an effective rate of 17.6 percent, nearly 16 percent below the average individual federal tax rate.”

Tax loopholes and breaks for big oil companies will cost the federal government nearly $40 billion over the next decade.

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