From: The Honorable Eliot L. Engel
Sent By:
Bill: H.R. 3760
Date: 11/3/2015

Stop Subsidizing Corporate Wrongdoing:  Cosponsor the Offending Oil Polluters Act

Sponsors:  Eliot Engel; Peter Welch; Alan Grayson; Raul Grijalva; Jerrold Nadler

Dear Colleague:

Earlier this month, BP and the Justice Department reached a $20.8 billion settlement for damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Marring the long-awaited resolution of this case is the fact that roughly 75 percent of BP’s bill is tax deductible, meaning the American taxpayer will be forced to cover more than $5 billion of the settlement’s costs.

Federal tax law prevents companies from deducting penalties paid for breaking the law from their corporate taxes.  But money classified as something other than a penalty – including restitution, reimbursement or compensatory payments to damaged parties – is deductible as an ordinary cost of doing business.

Corporate wrongdoing should not be subsidized by the American taxpayer.  We introduced The Offending Oil Polluters Act to prevent companies from deducting losses that result from spilling oil or hazardous substances, including deductions for the direct costs of cleanup, legal fees resulting from the discharge of oil or a hazardous substance, payments or restitution related to the discharge, and any costs or penalties required by Federal law or regulations or certified in a settlement by federal court. It would also require a review of the total costs to American taxpayers to date for this type of environmental clean-up since the Deepwater Horizon spill.

For more information or to cosponsor the Offending Oil Polluters Act, please contact Brian Skretny with Rep. Engel at 5-2464, or Mark Fowler with Rep. Welch at 5-4115.


Eliot L. Engel                                        Peter Welch
Member of Congress                             Member of Congress