House Passes Bill to Halt Big Oil Tax Breaks

Veto threat as Republicans call it industry discrimination
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2008 5:36 AM CST
The House of Representatives repealed an $18 billion package of tax breaks for oil companies Wednesday. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charles Rangel said it was fair for the new tax revenue...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Millions of dollars in tax breaks enjoyed by the top five oil companies would be rescinded under an $18 billion tax package which cleared the House of Representatives yesterday. The money saved would be plowed into creating alternative sustainable energy sources. It represents just a penny a gallon to the oil giants Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP and Shell.

The package faces an uphill battle in the Senate, and the White House has indicated President Bush may veto the bill. Oil company officials and Republicans argue that ending the breaks would raise fuel prices, discourage oil and gas exploration, and discriminate against a single industry. But a House lawmaker complained that "Americans are being asked to pay twice"—once at the gas station and again through tax subsidies to big oil.