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Menendez has V-day message for big oil

Feb. 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A U.S. lawmaker has a Valentine's Day message for energy companies, saying the days of their "sweetheart" tax deals were over.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said he wanted to close loopholes in tax legislation that he said would save taxpayers more than $20 billion over the next decade.

"This Valentine's Day, I have a clear message for big oil -- your sweetheart deals are over," he said in a message to energy companies.

Legislation introduced by Menendez calls for an end to deals for oil and gas production on public lands and a crack down on rules that let oil companies get special tax deductions.

"For too long oil companies have padded their profits at taxpayer expense," said Menendez in his statement. "We're going to close these outrageous tax loopholes and get back to investing in the good-paying green jobs of the future."

Menendez said tax loopholes contributed to record-setting profits for big energy companies like Chevron and BP.

BP is under fire for the April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last year. Menendez recently slammed the British energy company for alleged links to the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

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