Why I can't stop watching this video of Rep. Katie Porter bulldozing an oil executive
During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Porter took down oil executive Mark Murphy, when he argued his industry doesn't get any special tax breaks.
Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) is here to remind everyone she doesn't appreciate being mansplained to. During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Porter took down oil executive Mark Murphy, when he argued his industry doesn't get any special tax breaks. Murphy is president of Strata Production Company, which is an oil and energy company based in New Mexico.
"There seems to be a misconception out there that you're operating from that somehow the oil and gas industry have benefits from some special sort of tax structure. We don't," Murphy told Porter, who is the newly-appointed chair of the House Natural Resources Oversight Committee.
That didn't sit too well with Porter, who interjected Murphy mid-sentence.
A Big Oil exec told me I had a "misconception" about a special tax break polluters get that other businesses don't.… https://t.co/jdUXrL01wy— Rep. Katie Porter (@Rep. Katie Porter) 1615317920.0
"You do benefit from special rules," Porter responded. "There's a special tax rule for intangible drilling costs that does not apply to other kinds of expenses that businesses have. You get to deduct 70% of your costs immediately, and other businesses have to amortize their expenses over their entire profit stream. So please don't patronize me by telling me that the oil and gas industry doesn't have any special tax provisions. Because if you would like that to be the rule, I would be happy to have Congress deliver."
This isn't the first time Porter took down a powerful man in public. In fact, she's created an empowering persona for her tenacious and thorough takedowns of big business executives. In October 2020, Porter earned praise for schooling pharmaceutical executive, Mark Alles, when he testified in front of the House Oversight Committee regarding runaway drug prices.
Porter's fierce interrogation of Alles gained more than 15 million views on Twitter. Sure enough, her response to Murphy garnered the same amount of praise. Porter, who was one of several Democrats to introduce legislation to raise royalty rates on oil and gas companies last week, has been critical of oil companies for years.
According to FactSet data, oil prices have risen 38% over the past three months, with natural gas prices gaining only 6% within the same timeframe. In her role as chair, Porter mentioned she wants "to hold polluters accountable, safeguard all of our communities, and help spearhead solutions to the climate crisis."
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The thing I admire about Porter is her persistence and fearlessness to stand up to powerful men who strive to silence her. With her grit and unwavering confidence Porter has proven she will not be intimidated by anyone, least of all the men who work tirelessly to undermine her. I probably watched the video at least seven times, and every time I press play, I can't help but smile.
Whether she realizes it or not, Porter is championing for women simply by not allowing her voice to be diminished by the men she works alongside.