A proposal to hit oil companies with $29 billion in new taxes has passed through a senate committee.
It would funnel about $11 billion over ten years into development of renewable fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and power from wind turbines in a combination of extensions of existing tax breaks and new tax benefits.
The finance committee’s top Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said a new era in energy markets requires “a dramatic shift” toward support for other energy sources and efficiency. But another Republican, John Kye of Arizona, said higher taxes will lead to higher gas prices.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada complained that Republicans have threatened to filibuster the measure.