Wednesday, February 27

House Passes Bill aimed to Move US From Oil to Alternatives

The House approved $18 billion in new taxes over 10 years on the largest oil companies Wednesday as Democrats cited record oil prices and rising gasoline costs in a time of economic troubles.

The money collected would provide tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources and for energy conservation. The legislation, approved 236-182, would cost the five largest oil companies an average of $1.8 billion a year over that period (or approximately 7.8% of net income), according an analysis by the Ways and Means Committee. Those companies earned $123 billion 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 said the bill unfairly takes aim at the oil industry. President Bush is expected to veto the legislation if it passes Congress.

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