The Democratic chest beating over reducing tax cuts for the rich oil companies may be silenced by one of their own. Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico is warning his colleagues not to rush matters. He wants hearings on any tax-cut repeals that incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will promote during the first 100 hours of the new Congress. Bingaman will have some clout in the matter as the next chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He expressed concern that oil companies would go elsewhere to drill for new oil. There may also be an internal fight over greenhouse gas legislation. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who'll chair the Environment and Public Works Committee, wants to follow California's lead. Bingaman is seeking a Republican co-sponsor for his own bill to control greenhouse gases. Bingaman is expected to encourage wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. He also likes the idea of tougher CAFE standards but doesn't think such a move will pass.

Source: Jennifer Talhelm / Associated Press via Casper Star Tribune]

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