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Top Oil Executives Face Off with Lawmakers in Subsidy Battle

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Executives of the top five oil companies will testify before the Senate Finance Committee Thursday to explain why they need billions of dollars in subsidies when they are making record profits.

Some Democrats are opposed to the executives' request and have proposed a new bill called the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, while will scrap $2 billion in tax subsidies each year for the five largest and most profitable oil companies and, in turn, apply the savings to paying down the federal deficit. 

John Watson, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Chevron Corporation; Marvin Odum, U.S. President of Shell Oil; H. Lamar McKay, Chairman and Presidnt of BP America Inc.; James Mulva, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips; and Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, are expected to attend the hearing to defend their need for subsidies.

Democrats will mostly likely face an uphill battle in passing their measure.  It will need 60 votes to advance, a long shot in a chamber where there are only 53 Democrats and even some of them -- like Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu -- don’t support the measure.  Republicans have vociferously opposed the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he plans to hold a vote on the subsidy issue sometime next week.

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