Gas prices out of control? Seven ways lawmakers could help – or hurt.
Gas prices are approaching $4 a gallon and oil prices are above $100 a barrel, leading politicians in Washington and statehouses to propose a flurry of legislation. Some proposals strive to quell voter angst while others might balance budgets by raising gas prices.
Ending Big Oil’s tax breaks
President Obama's budget proposes ending tax breaks for oil companies that amount to $3.6 billion in fiscal year 2012 and total $46.2 billion over the next decade. In legislation supporting that plan, Rep. Ed Markey (D) of Massachusetts seeks to spend some of those savings, $150 million, to make offshore drilling safer. The same legislation offers a "use it or lose it" provision on some 60 million acres that oil companies have leased but not yet begun to drill.
Republican opponents say such moves undermine domestic production and help drive gas prices higher.