Welch bill would cut $40 billion in fuel supports

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) co-introduced legislation that would cut $40 billion in subsidies to the oil industry over the next five years.

Not a single Republican congressmen signed on to Welch's bill which appeared to fall along partisan lines.

With a new Republican majority in the U.S. House that's friendly to the fuel-oil industry, and with high gasoline prices at the pump, it's unlikely the bill will be passed.

However, if Welch's bill moves forward, the Ending Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act (H.R. 601) would eliminate tax loopholes that have been used for years by America's domestic and overseas petroleum industry.

"Taxpayer support for mature, profitable industries makes no sense, particularly when we should be investing in the energy efficiency and clean energy sectors," said Welch in a statement.

H.R. 601 was previously introduced in the House last year following a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. If approved by the House, H.R. 601 would move on to the pile of more than 300 bills now stalled in the U.S. Senate.

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