In this time of record profits for oil companies, the House approved a measure to withdraw a $7-billion subsidy over the next five years. Unbelievably, 165 Republicans wanted to let the oil companies keep the public’s money.
WASHINGTON, May 18—In an attempt to revoke billions of dollars worth of government incentives to oil and gas producers, the House on Thursday approved a measure that would pressure companies to renegotiate more than 1,000 leases for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The measure, approved 252 to 165 over the objections of many Republican leaders, is intended to prevent companies from avoiding at least $7 billion in payments to the government over the next five years for oil and gas they produce in publicly owned waters.
Scores of Republicans, already under fire from voters about gasoline prices, sided with Democrats on the issue. Eighty-five Republicans voted to attach the provision to the Interior Department’s annual spending bill. The measure would require adoption by the Senate, which is less reflexively supportive of the energy industry than the House, and will almost certainly provoke intense opposition from oil and gas producers.