Rep. Katie Porter Shuts Down Oil Exec: 'Please Don't Patronize Me'

Watch Rep. Katie Porter school this oil exec after he tries to claim the oil and gas industry doesn’t get special treatment. » Subscribe to NowThis Earth: » Sign up for our newsletter KnowThis to get the biggest stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox: For more climate crisis news, stories on environmental issues, and world news, subscribe to NowThis Earth. #KatiePorter #OilAndGas #Congress #Earth #Environment #Science #NowThis This video "Rep. Katie Porter Shuts Down Oil Exec: 'Please Don't Patronize Me' ", first appeared on

Video Transcript

KATIE PORTER: Please don't patronize me by telling me of the oil and gas industry doesn't have any special tax provisions. How much of intangible drilling costs are you-- they're estimated to be between 60% to 90% of the costs of drilling-- how much of those intangible drilling costs do you get to deduct right away from your taxes?

- We get to deduct all of those, just like any other business. We do not--

KATIE PORTER: How much do you get to deduct?

- There to be a misconception out there that you're operating from that somehow the oil and gas industry benefits from some special sort of tax structure. We don't. We actually-- we actually--

KATIE PORTER: Reclaiming my time.


Mr. Murphy. I will follow up with you, Mr. Murphy, but you do benefit from special rules. There is a special tax rule for intangible drilling costs that does not apply to other kinds of expenses that businesses have. You get to deduct 70% of your costs immediately. And other businesses have to amortize their expenses over their entire profit stream.

- We also--

KATIE PORTER: So please don't-- please don't patronize me by telling me that the oil and gas industry doesn't have any special tax provisions. Because if you would like that to be the rule, I would be happy to have Congress deliver.

We need to shine a light on the way that the fossil fuel industry is attempting to say one thing to the American people and yet do another. We all have a role to play to make sure those fossil fuel companies are acting in our collective best interests to protect our planet.

Taxpayers are the owners of public lands. They're our collective national treasure. Release those public lands to fossil fuel companies to develop and extract energy. But we need to make sure they're paying a market price-- a fair price for what they're doing. And those rates have not changed for decades and decades.

The fossil fuel industry is one of the most powerful players in shaping Washington politics to their liking. They spend $83 million a year lobbying. And they've been able to get a very sweet deal for themselves at the cost of our planet.

For example, fossil fuel companies lease public land. And yet, they pay only pennies per acre, less than a cup of coffee for each acre of land that they lease to drill on. In fact, the royalty rate that fossil fuel companies pay when they drill on our public lands hasn't changed in over 100 years.

That's not a coincidence. It's a direct result of the fossil fuel lobby. It's long past time to change these rates. They should pay their fair share.

During COVID and with the packages that we introduced to try to help people during COVID, we were supposed to be focusing on essential workers, small businesses, childcare providers. But guess who took over $2 billion? The fossil fuel company, all in COVID relief.

During this pandemic, despite taking over $2 billion in taxpayer money for COVID relief, the fossil fuel companies laid off over 100,000 workers. So even as they were contributing to worsening unemployment, they were taking government money that was supposed to be used to keep people employed. We need to be asking these fossil fuel executives to explain why the government should be giving them tax breaks and help, even as they are some of the most profitable companies in this country and pay their executives millions and millions of each year.

When it comes to addressing climate change, talk is not enough. We need to see concrete actions. It's not enough for fossil fuel companies to run full-page ads or tout their climate-friendly policies. We need them to actually change what they're doing.

And through my role on the Natural Resources Committee as the subcommittee on oversight, I'm going to be holding those big polluters accountable. So I have a message for polluters and fossil fuel companies. Bring it on.