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A minority of 48 Senators, including three Democrats, blocked passage of a bill on Tuesday that would have repealed several of the tax breaks for oil and gas companies that CTJ described in its recent report on energy and taxes. The Senate bill would have repealed the breaks for the “Big Five” oil companies.

The argument made by the companies has always been that these tax subsidies encourage exploration and extraction in the U.S. CTJ’s report explains that the resulting increase in profits goes towards paying shareholders, not towards exploration for oil and gas.

Read CTJ’s report on oil and gas tax breaks.