Soaring gasoline prices are not only spurring state legislators to act, as blogged about yesterday, but also have provided fuel for another Congressional effort in this area.
The Senate will once again try to pass legislation targeted at oil company profits and energy price gouging. In fact, according to the Senate floor schedule and C-SPAN TV listings, the process is set to get going in just a few minutes.
Supporters first put forth S. 3044, the Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008, back in May. It proposes rolling
back $17 billion in tax breaks for the oil industry and imposing a "windfall
profits" tax on the largest companies. Money collected would go to a trust fund for the development of renewable
But don't hold your breath. The bill already has been stalled once. And any subsequent votes, from those to consider the measure to actually voting on the substance of the bill if it gets that far, are likely to be
mostly political and symbolic.
No big surprise there.
Republicans generally oppose most of the bill's provisions. And without some GOP support, S. 3044 won't garner the necessary 60 votes to stop any procedural roadblocks.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, talks about the proposed bill and other energy and tax legislation, as well as additional Senate topics, in this chat held earlier today by the Washington Post.