Thursday, February 28, 2008

House votes to cut Tax Breaks for Oil Companies

In a sudden outbreak of intelligence, The House of Representatives have voted to cut back on more than 18 BILLION in tax breaks to the major deomestic oil producers.

Also under the bill, consumers would gain new tax breaks for buying plug-in hybrid cars, which can run on batteries that can be recharged by plugging in to electric outlets. Local governments would be able to issue as much as $3.6 billion of tax-credit bonds to finance projects to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Companies would get a new tax credit of 50 cents a gallon for cellulosic alcohol produced as a fuel.

Oil and gas companies would lose some $13.6 billion in tax breaks granted in 2004 for domestically produced goods. Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron Corp. (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), and BP Plc (BP) would lose the tax breaks entirely. The deduction would be frozen at 6% for smaller oil and gas companies. That deduction had been scheduled to jump to 9% in 2010.

Don't get to excited though, the President has threatened a Veto and the Senate has killed it on 2 other occasions.

The House last year repeatedly passed similar legislation, but the Senate has proved intractable. Last year, the Senate fell one vote short of the number of votes needed to repeal the oil tax breaks amid opposition from oil-state senators.

Frustrated, Democrats are contemplating adding parts of the energy tax package to a budget reconciliation measure moving through Congress, according to one Democratic aide. Such measures need a simple majority to pass. That would get around a procedural hurdle in the Senate in which 60 votes are needed to move forward on legislation, a hurdle that has been a repeated stumbling block.

So maybe with luck and expert politicing, we can get this bill sent to the White House, where it will be thoughtfully considered and immediately Vetoed.


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