Millions of dollars in tax breaks enjoyed by the top five oil companies would be rescinded under an $18 billion tax package which cleared the House of Representatives yesterday.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.