Sen. Mark Warner at a panel discussion sponsored by the Center for America's Progress and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Sept. 30, 2009.
As Washington lawmakers look for new streams of revenue to deal with the bloated federal budget, the American Petroleum Institute is looking to protect the hard-won tax breaks energy companies enjoy. This week the group unveiled a new ad targeting Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.
Warner, now the state's senior Senator, doesn't seem surprised about an interest group ad running so far from his reelection. With Tim Kaine and President Obama winning the Commonwealth in spite of all the negative ads, he says he's not too worried about the oil ad.
"Somebody mentioned something about some ad being run, but I haven't heard it, and I'm sure as heck not going to lose any sleep over it," he says.
The oil industry is right to be worried. With a $16 trillion debt, lawmakers are looking to change the tax code, and many Democrats are clamoring to end oil subsidies.
Warner, a Democrat, has been a part of a bipartisan group of eight senators looking for a way to cut the debt. That group now looks to be sidelined as President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are taking over.