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    Oil Cos. Could Face $29B in New Taxes

    Proposal expected to be added to the larger energy bill now under Senate consideration.

    WASHINGTON -- A proposal to hit oil companies with $29 billion in new taxes advanced in the Senate this week, The Associated Press reported.

    The massive tax package, which targets the money to energy conservation, wind turbines, electric hybrid cars and clean coal technology, doubles what Democrats had discussed as recently as last week, and is "designed to promote clean and sustainable energy," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Finance Committee that approved the measure by a 15-5 vote.

    The proposal is expected to be added later this week to the energy legislation currently being considered by the full Senate, according to the AP report.

    Senators acknowledged that oil companies would howl over the new taxes, but Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Finance Committee's top Republican, said, "We have entered a new era in energy markets … (that) requires a dramatic shift away from tax incentives for oil and gas production" and toward support for other energy sources and efficiency.

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