Friday, May 20, 2011

Gas prices rise as politicians battle for tax breaks for big oil companies

Pain at the pump continues for consumers while congress battle it out over eliminating tax breaks for big oil companies.

The Senate on Tuesday blocked a Democrat proposal threatening strip the five top oil companies of billions of dollars that supporters said pad companies' pockets while drivers struggle. According to a story in The New York Times, Republicans, who on Wednesday will push their own plan to open more areas to oil drilling and speed government permits, said the Democratic proposal would contribute to higher prices and increase dependence on foreign oil even though a recent Congressional Research Service report predicted any impact on prices would be negligible.

The bill would have applied to BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. More than $12 billion would have come from eliminating a domestic manufacturing tax deduction for oil companies and $6 billion would have been generated by ending their deduction taxes paid to foreign governments. Democrats contend this would generate billions of dollars in revenue but Republicans say the proposal could contribute to higher gas prices and increase dependency on foreign oil.

Nevertheless, gas prices will continue to be a thorn in the side of Americans as long as something doesn't change. Who's really in control of the prices?

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