Washington - As oil companies start reporting their first quarter profits, one thing is certain: they do not need help from taxpayers.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) wants to put money back into taxpayers' wallets instead of in Big Oil's coffers. He has introduced the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, legislation that would end billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil.

"Facts are stubborn things. Oil companies are not using their enormous revenues and subsidies to drive down prices. Instead they are pocketing these subsidies to pad outrageous profit numbers. In a budget crisis we cannot continue to subsidize Big Oil."

Menendez's Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act has been scored by the Joint Tax Committee and would raise $33 billion over 10 years. The bill contains important safeguards to allow refineries and oil companies with yearly revenues of less than $100 million to retain certain tax credits and deductions.

Background on S. 258:

• Recoup Royalty Revenue Lost to Contract Loopholes: This proposal would create an excise tax on oil and gas produced on federal lands on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in order to pay back American taxpayers for contract loopholes whereby oil and gas companies avoided paying royalties on certain oil and gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico.

• End Oil Companies Abuse of Foreign Tax Credits: Would require that a dual capacity taxpayer establish that the foreign country generally impose an income tax to be able to claim a foreign levy as a creditable tax.

• Repeal Expensing of Intangible Drilling Costs: Would repeal the deduction for IDCs and require such costs be capitalized as a cost of the well or tangible property and recovered through depreciation or depletion, as applicable. Oil companies with yearly revenues of less than $100 million would retain the use of this deduction.

• Repeal Percentage Depletion for Oil and Gas Wells: This proposal would repeal percentage depletion for oil and gas properties. Oil companies with yearly revenues of less than $100 million would retain the use of this deduction.

• Repeal Deduction for Tertiary Injectants: The proposal would repeal the current deduction and instead allow oil companies to capitalize and depreciate or deplete costs for tertiary injectants. For example, supply costs would be capitalized and deducted when consumed or as part of cost of goods sold. Oil companies with yearly revenues of less than $100 million would retain the use of this deduction.

• Repeal Exemption of Passive Loss Limitations for Interests in Oil and Gas Properties: The proposal would end the exemption from passive loss rules for oil companies so they must operate under the same tax rules as other corporations. Oil companies with yearly revenues of less than $100 million would retain the use of this exemption.

• Repeal Domestic Manufacturing Deduction for Oil and Gas Production: This proposal would repeal the ability of oil and gas companies to claim oil and gas production as manufacturing, thus making the production activities ineligible for the domestic production activities deduction. Oil companies with yearly revenues of less than $100 million would retain the use of this deduction. The deduction would also be retained for oil refining and natural gas processing.

• Match Geological and Geophysical Amortization Periods for All Oil and Gas Companies: This proposal would create more uniform amortization rules for geological and geophysical costs. G&G costs are costs incurred in obtaining and accumulating data that serves as the basis for acquiring and retaining oil and gas properties. Oil companies with yearly revenues of less than $100 million could amortize geological and geophysical costs over two years. All others would amortize these costs over 7 years.

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