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Big Oil set for Senate finance committee show-down

US oil executives are preparing for a face-off with the Senate finance committee on Thursday as lawmakers called on the industry to defend tax breaks worth an estimated $4 billion a year, even as consumers face rising gasoline prices

The finance committee chairman, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, who has been pushing for legislation to repeal the tax breaks, invited senior industry figures to testify at a hearing to be held on Thursday 12 May. It is not yet known who will attend, but they will be quizzed over why the upstream sector needs help from the government at a time of soaring oil prices – and bulging corporate profits. The hearing comes after President Barack Obama wrote to Congressional leaders, urging them to repeal the subsidies. In his letter, Obama estimated that companies benefit from more than $4 billion in subsidies, despite high oil prices boosting profits substantially. Speaking last week, Obama added: “

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