U.S. Sens. David Vitter and Mary Landrieu today announced their intent to oppose, both S. 258, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act of 2011, introduced by U.S. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and S. 953, the Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011, introduced by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  Vitter and Landrieu released the following joint statement:

“As the two senators most familiar with the gulf energy shutdown, we are eager to pass strong energy legislation that includes an emphasis on increased domestic production with revenue sharing between the federal government and offshore oil producing states.  Unfortunately, these two bills are a disappointing start, and we're voting against both. 

“The bill from Sen. Menendez, D-N.J., simply demagogues the issue – it would not alleviate the price at the pump and would only decrease domestic supply.  We are open to examining all tax deductions and the like as part of fundamental tax reform, but we shouldn't target a few companies in a single industry. 

“The bill from Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would add an unnecessary and burdensome new layer of regulation regarding containment plans just when energy companies have figured out how to comply with the administration's new requirements.  This would slow down the permitting process instead of streamlining and accelerating it. The McConnell bill also fails to recognize the important role that states like Louisiana and Texas play in offshore oil production. 

“We hope the Congress will put partisan politics aside and come together soon around an "all of the above" energy strategy that includes dramatically increased domestic production of oil and gas with revenue sharing particularly with coastal states.” 

Vitter recently introduced 3-D: The Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy, and Deficit Reduction Act of 2011, which would create more than 2 million jobs, $10 trillion in economic activity and $2 trillion in federal tax receipts (conservative 30-year estimates) by unleashing America’s vast domestic energy potential.