In the US, Democrats have unveiled a new wide-ranging, $17.5 billion renewable energy and building-efficiency bill even though Republicans have repeatedly blocked their efforts in the Senate.
In renewing their push, Democrats are relying on the same financing plan that produced Senate opposition last year, repealing tax breaks granted to oil and gas companies.
“The American taxpayer should not be subsidizing oil and gas companies during times of record profits and record prices at the pump,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., in a statement. “We need an energy plan that reduces our dependency on foreign oil and invests in clean, renewable technology that will create jobs here in America.”
Big Oil could be a big loser. Oil companies would lose some $13.6 billion in tax breaks granted in 2004 for domestically produced goods. Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, and 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, as part of a 2004 law that gradually phased in the manufacturing tax break.
Oil companies would also lose another $4.1 billion under provisions that provide less favorable tax treatment for certain kinds of foreign income.
Republicans will oppose the bill, reflecting their view that the U.S. should focus on increasing domestic oil production, such as through drilling in ANWR.
They just don’t get it do they- without radical measures to promote energy efficiency and renewables, you could drill ANWR dry and still be no better off in a few years time. The only problem is that America’s last known wilderness would be gone…