Capitol Hill (AP) The house has approved what amounts to an 18 Billion-dollar tax hike for the largest oil companies. Democrats backing the legislation note record oil prices and rising gasoline costs in a time of economic troubles.
The plan would eliminate tax breaks the oil companies have had and switch the money to tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources and for energy conservation.
It would cost the five largest oil companies an average of 1.8 billion dollars a year. The companies earned 123 billion dollars last year.
Senate democratic leaders said they would put the bill on a fast track and try to avoid a republican filibuster.
The White House says the bill is not fair to the oil industry. If it passes, president Bush is expected to veto it.
Republicans say watch out for even higher prices at the pump if the industry loses the tax breaks.