Cross-posted from Think Progress.
On Tuesday night, Republicans in the Senate filibustered the majority’s attempt to repeal $21 billion in subsidies for the big five oil companies — the same companies that made over $30 billion in profits in just the first three months of 2011. While three out of four Americans believe ExxonMobil and the other oil majors should pay their fair share, instead of receiving taxpayer welfare, the oil-friendly Senate split 52 to 48 to end the subsidies. Though the majority of the Senate voted to repeal these oil tax breaks, the procedural motion required a 60-vote threshold.
An analysis of campaign contribution records shows the gusher of dirty cash that fueled the filibuster:
A Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis finds that the 48 senators who sided with Big Oil received over $21 million in career oil contributions, while 52 senators who sided with the American people received only $5.4 million in contributions. Each senator who voted for Big Oil received on average more than four times as much oil cash as those who voted to end the subsidies.
While eight Republican senators voted for a bill that included a repeal of tax breaks for big oil in 2007, only Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine voted with the Democrats in supporting ending taxpayer handouts to big oil on Tuesday. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) joined the Republicans to protect the oil companies’ corporate welfare.