Senate Republicans Block Oil Tax

Ad Feedback -- Senate Republicans blocked a measure that would have placed a new tax on the top five U.S. oil companies as a way to take away some of their record profits.

The effort was an attempt by the Democrat-controlled Senate to combat rising gas costs, even as consumers on the West Coast are feeling the biggest brunt of climbing prices.

Watch an interview with Bill Koetzle, senior vice president of public policy of The Institute for Energy Research to find out how Congress is addressing the energy crisis.

The average price at the pump is nearly $4.50 a gallon, and that's sending some drivers across the Mexican border. Gas there is running only $2.84 a gallon.

Near Detroit, a radio station sponsored a three-hour gas giveaway. They sold gas for $.99 a gallon.

"Americans are furious about what's going on," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said. They want Congress to do something about oil company profits and "an orgy of speculation" on oil markets.

But Republicans said new taxes would not solve the country's problems.

"The American people are clamoring for relief at the pump," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

He says if taxes are increased on the oil companies "they will get exactly what they don't want. The bill will raise taxes, increase imports."

The measure failed 51-43. It needed 60 votes to bypass a GOP filibuster.

Source: The Associated Press

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