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September 13, 2012

Romney's Chief Energy Advisor Defends Plan to Give Tax Subsidies to Oil Companies

Oil moneyToday, Mitt Romney's top campaign energy advisor and billionaire oil executive Harold Hamm submitted written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in support of the billions in tax subsidies doled out to oil companies every year.

This marks the second time in his tenure on Romney's campaign that Hamm, the 78th richest man in the world according to Forbes, argued in favor of Big Oil’s special tax breaks before Congress.

Hamm was tapped by Romney to join his campaign in March and has since been identified as one of the authors of Romney's plan to gut public health safeguards and throw open American public lands to drilling and mining. While serving on the Romney campaign and as CEO of Continental Resources, Hamm has also contributed millions to a pro-Romney Super PAC and to the Koch Brothers anti-Obama smear campaign. But in his disclosure

In public polling, seventy percent of Americans oppose subsidies for fossil fuel companies, including 67 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of independents. Hamm's position, however, echoes that of the Romney campaign. Romney has not just endorsed the Paul Ryan budget that maintains $40 billion in tax subsidies to oil companies, but he's tapped Ryan as his running mate. 

Only in Mitt Romney's universe does it make sense to have one of the richest men in the country beg Congress for special tax handouts for one of the most profitable industries in the world.

The American people have been loud and clear: the oil companies making record profits shouldn't get special treatment. But the oil and coal executives who are funding Romney's campaign, helping write his energy plan, and defending his policy aren't just among the few who support such unpopular ideas – they are the only ones he is listening to. 

The Sierra Club Voter Education Fund seeks to educate voters about issues important to our members by responding to statements and positions made in an electoral context, with the goal to encourage the public to find out more about the candidates and their positions on these issues. 

-- Courtney Hight, Sierra Club Deputy Political Director

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