the visible hand

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House Votes to End Big Oil’s Tax Breaks, Passes Renewable Energy Credits

Posted by ecoshift on February 28, 2008

House Votes to End Big Oil’s Tax Breaks – washingtonpost.com
By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 28, 2008; Page A03

The House of Representatives brushed aside threats of a White House veto yesterday and voted 236 to 182 in favor of an $18 billion tax package that would rescind a tax break for the five biggest oil companies and use the revenue to boost incentives for wind and solar energy and energy efficiency.

The measure now heads to the Senate, where Democrats face a challenge in getting enough support to bring the bill to a vote. This is the fourth time in the past year that Democrats have tried to get the package adopted.

The Bush administration, Republican lawmakers and big oil companies condemned the bill, which they said would raise fuel prices for consumers, discourage oil and gas exploration in the United States and unfairly discriminate against a single industry while other manufacturers continue to enjoy tax breaks.

But hours after crude oil hit a new high of $102 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, most lawmakers said they saw no reason why the oil industry couldn’t pay an additional $1.8 billion a year in taxes over the next 10 years.

“We don’t think it’s asking too much to ask them to assist in a partnership to help find out whether there’s a better way to meet our energy needs,” said Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He called the money raised from the oil giants “grains of sand on the beach.”


House Passes Renewable Energy Credits – New York Times
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Published: February 28, 2008

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday approved a bill to extend more than $17 billion in tax credits and other incentives to encourage the production of energy from solar, wind and other renewable sources, and to promote energy conservation. The bill would be financed by ending tax incentives for oil and natural gas producers.

Democratic leaders in the House hailed the legislation as a step toward energy independence and a moral victory for protecting the environment, by encouraging production of clean alternative fuels. But the White House threatened to veto the bill, saying it would be a mistake to increase the tax burden on American oil companies.

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