Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) “struck while the iron was hot Thursday and vowed to shepherd a plan through the panel that ends billions of dollars in tax breaks for the largest oil companies,” The Hill reports.
Baucus released a short “blueprint” of the plan – which would expand investment in “clean” fuels and efficient vehicles – the same day that oil giants Exxon and Shell reported big gains in first-quarter profits.
And the outline arrives a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he planned to bring a tax break repeal measure to the floor. The White House and Democrats are targeting the subsidies in the wider political debate that has erupted over high gasoline prices.
The plan would “prevent the five biggest oil companies from claiming a lucrative deduction on domestic manufacturing income, reduce the foreign tax credit for royalty payments to foreign governments and impose an excise tax on certain Gulf of Mexico leases, the blueprint states.”
The plan would “not add to the deficit because repealing the oil industry tax incentives would pay for the ‘clean’ energy programs in the bill, according to the Senate Finance Committee.”