Oil executives in the hot seat on Capitol Hill

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 6:47am

With the national average for a gallon of gasoline now around 4 dollars. Big oil will be in the hot seat today on Capitol Hill. Executives from the five biggest companies will be questioned about their record profits-- and a proposal to pare back some of the tax breaks they get from the U.S government.

Some in Congress are calling on oil companies now making record profits to help pay the price. Senator Chuck Schumer says "we're here to say enough already to big oil, you're doing just fine on your own."

Democrats have unveiled a bill to repeal about 2 billion a year in oil company tax breaks-- claiming it would reduece the deficit by 21 billion over the next decade.

The oil companies say their tax breaks are the same as many busineses while some Republicans claim the bill will cause prices to spike  Representative Bill Flores a Republican from Texas says " Raising taxes on teh energy industry is going to lower the amount of domestic energy that we have at an attractive price."

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says, "higher gas prices, fewer American jobs, and more dependece on foreign competitors at the expense of American energy? That's their plan? No thank you."

The battle over oil prices and profits are now fueling big debate.


--Reported by Kristen Dahlgren NBC News

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