- Exxon Mobil is lobbying against a massive Democratic budget bill that aims to boost working-class families and fight climate change.
- The fossil fuel giant spent $275,000 last week on Facebook ads, including spots targeting the tax hike Democrats have proposed in the bill.
- The final size of the bill, now estimated at around $3.5 trillion, has yet to be determined, although it is expected to include measures to promote care for children and the elderly and policies to cut carbon emissions.
Exxon Mobil is lobbying against a massive Democratic budget bill that aims to boost working-class families and fight climate change.
The fossil fuel giant has spent $275,000 over the past week on Facebook ads, including spots targeting tax hikes, with Democrats adding to the bill, which is currently worth $3.5 trillion. Earlier this year an Exxon lobbyist also focused on legislation regarding corporate and international taxes.
The final size of the bill has yet to be determined, although it is expected to include measures to promote care for children and the elderly, and policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions. Democratic leaders expect the bill to pass in weeks.
The ads don’t mention President Joe Biden or Democrats. At least six ads ran from Friday to Monday, although they are now inactive. One of those ads says, “Tell Congress there’s no tax hike.” After a user clicks on the ad, it reads, “Contact your elected officials today and let them know that you oppose a proposed tax increase on American businesses.”
The recent ad purchase of more than $275, 000 is part of the $2 million Axon spent on Facebook ads over the past 90 days. Spots opposing raising taxes on businesses also moved past the prior-week period.
Democrats have proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5% to help pay for the bill. They have also called for increased fees on the fossil fuel industry, while they are divided over whether to include a carbon tax.
The public at large supports tax increases on corporations and the wealthy. a recent A Morning Consult poll shows that 68% of those surveyed support raising taxes on the wealthy, and 62% hold the same opinion about a potential increase in corporate taxes.
Several special interest groups have launched lobbying efforts against tax proposals and other elements of the bill, focusing more on centrists such as Censor Joe Manchin, DW.VA and Kirsten Cinemas, D-Ariz. Democrats require all 50 members of their caucus in the Senate to pass the measure using a tactic called budget reconciliation, which means they must pass the usual 60-vote limit to any Republican in order to allow the bills to go ahead. will not need to be reached.
Any overhaul would require the support of Manchin, whose home state of West Virginia is a major producer of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. is the home of part of the state marcellus shale, a geological formation that also serves as one of the largest natural gas fields in North America. Exxon Mobil Oil & Gas Fracking Subsidiary XTO Energy Has operations in West Virginia.
Since the 2012 election cycle, Manchin has received just over $12,000 from the Exxon Mobil political action committee, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Munchkin is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. A senior UK Exxon lobbyist caught on camera channel 4, saying That Munchkin was one of his top goals. The lobbyists called Munchkin a “kingmaker” and said he spoke to the senator’s office on a weekly basis.
Munchkin’s office did not return a request for comment.
According to CRP data, Exxon Mobil has spent more than $2.7 million on lobbying so far this year. Michael Solan, one of the Exxon lobbyists, was paid $10,000 for work done in the second quarter that focused specifically on “unspecified reconciliation legislation relating to corporate and international taxes,” according to the disclosure report.
Before becoming a lobbyist, Solon worked as the policy director for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
An Exxon spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
Democrats in the House and Senate are trying to design a bill that could win support from centrists and progressives alike in both houses. While a final bill will likely look different, policies approved by House committees this month as Democrats proposed a bigger resolution of what the plan might include. Democratic leaders are aiming to pass on their investments in social safety nets and climate policy in the coming weeks.
Other companies in the oil and gas industry are also actively targeting resolutions through their lobbyists. Gas giant Valero paid less than $5,000 to Cornerstone Government Matters in the second quarter to join House and Senate lawmakers on the “corporate tax provisions of the Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation Bill,” according to a lobbying disclosure report.
The International Association of Drilling Contractors, a non-profit trade association, spent roughly the same amount lobbying lawmakers and Biden administration officials on “reconciled oil and gas policies,” among other policies, according to its second-quarter report. Of. According to their LinkedIn page, the group is “dedicated to advancing the interests of the worldwide oil and gas and geothermal drilling and completions industry”.
There are other Democratic proposals related to fighting climate change that could be of concern to oil and gas industry players.
As part of its markup, the House Natural Resources Committee proposed an increase in fossil fuel tariffs and royalties for extraction on public land, among other plans affecting the oil industry. The panel has also pushed for repeal of the oil and gas leasing program at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, established as part of the 2017 Republican tax law.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee also raised tariffs on methane emissions, the product of oil and gas operations, among other energy-related policies.
Democrats are also divided on whether to include the proposed carbon tax in the law. The provision, which may follow Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on households earning less than $400,000, is intended to reduce fossil-fuel emissions.