SENATE CLEAN ENERGY BLUEPRINT
Baucus crafts oil tax break repeal plan amid high profit reports
Ben Geman, April 28, 2011 (The Hill)
"Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)…vowed to shepherd a plan through the [his committee] that ends billions of dollars in tax breaks for the largest oil companies…
"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] 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."
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"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…[T]he excise tax could be a revival of past Democratic efforts to target leases issued in the late 1990s that currently allow royalty-free production even when oil and natural gas prices are high…"
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[The Baucus Blueprint:] “[The plan will] encourage increased production of cleaner and more affordable domestically-produced fuel by making it easier for manufacturers to produce and for consumers to purchase…[and] “incentivize the infrastructure needed to support clean energy vehicles, such as alternative energy fueling stations, that will make the clean energy transportation of the future possible…”
"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…"