In a move expected by many, the Democrat controlled House of Representatives passed new legislation which will repeal many of the tax breaks "Big Oil" - companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron - enjoyed under the last six years of Republican legislative and executive control. In addition to the reduced tax breaks, oil companies will be forced to pay more drilling royalties.
During this past election, many Democrats ran on the platform that "Big Oil" needed to have many of the tax breaks enacted by the Bush Administration revoked - especially considering Americans were coming off of a summer of gas prices well over $3 per gallon while oil companies enjoyed record billion dollar quarterly profits.
In addition to revoking "Big Oil's" favorable tax status, the House's bill will force major oil companies to increase the amount of money they must pay in drilling royalties. These lower drilling royalties were negotiated to help encourage oil drilling throughout the United States and in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to published reports, much of the money "Big Oil" will now have to give up will be earmarked for research and testing of other alternative, renewable fuel and energy sources. Unfortunately, while I'd love to believe the Federal Government would actually put all of this money towards renewable energy sources, I have a feeling much of this money will be misappropriated.
While it remains to be seen how the repealed tax breaks will effect gas prices (I'm sure it won't cause the prices to drop any) it is nice to see elected officials actually doing what they said they would do during their campaigns.