House and Senate team OKs oil windfall tax

House and Senate negotiators agreed Tuesday on a $227.3 billion oil windfall profits tax, including a $22.5 billion tax on the nation's 12,000 independent producers.

With Rep. Bill Archer (R) of Texas the sole dissenter, the House and Senate conference members agreed to apply a 70 percent windfall tax rate on all oil produced from US wells discovered before 1979. A 30 percent tax rate would be applied to newly discovered oil and two types of special oils. Those are heavy oil, a highly viscous crude produced mainly in California, and tertiary oil, crude that is so hard to extract it must be flushed from the ground with expensive detergents.

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