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The Hill
Francisco Enriquez, U.S. Public Interest Research Group

The Hill’s Aug. 23 article “BP argues it’s being bilked in spill claims” which describes BP’s recent efforts to avoid payments legally owed to people harmed by the Deepwater Horizon spill, recalls another devious example of the company shirking full responsibility for its actions. Three years ago, when oil was still spurting into the Gulf and BP was touting the billions of dollars it set aside for claims, the oil giant was also preparing to deduct the price of the disaster as an “ordinary and necessary” cost of doing business, and thereby collect $10 billion dollars in federal tax breaks for the spill. 

For every dollar in tax windfalls that BP skims from the oil spill, the public must pick up the tab in the form of cuts to public programs, higher taxes or higher government debt. It’s time to stop BP’s practice of loudly trumpeting how much it spends to help Americans while quietly ripping us off.  

Link to the published letter:

NOTE FROM U.S. PIRG: You can read U.S. PIRG’s report on the tax implications of legal settlements, “Subsidizing Bad Behavior: How Corporate Legal Settlements for Harming the Public Become Lucrative Tax Write-Offs.”




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