Barton: Govt Subsidies Necessary To Keep Exxon From Going Out Of Business

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March 10, 2011 6:08 a.m.

Check out this interview of Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) — he of apologizing to BP fame — by ABC on Wednesday. Pressed repeatedly by Jon Karl to stake out a position on tax credits enjoyed by offshore oil companies, Barton argued that the subsidies represent equal treatment, and are required to keep the companies like Exxon-Mobil from going out of business.

“Over time if you put so many disincentives against any U.S. manufacturing or production company, or oil and gas exploration company, they’ll go out of business,” Barton said.

Barton, perhaps the oil and gas industry’s staunchest support on Capitol Hill, says the subsidies for the industry should remain unchanged “so long as you believe that you believe in the free market capitalist system and they should be headquartered in the United States.”

Democrats have proposed eliminating the oil and gas subsidies as part of a deficit reduction and spending cut package. The White House estimates that repealing the tax credits would save about $46 billion over 10 years.

Republicans, and some Democrats, have rejected that proposal.

Watch the interview:

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