Analysts: Oil firms to post record profits amid soaring gas prices

DIX HILLS - As drivers on Long Island and throughout the country are feeling an even greater pain at the pump, analysts are predicting that oil companies may announce record profits this week. According to AAA, the national average for regular unleaded gas is now at $3.87 a gallon, which represents a 30-cent jump from last month and an increase of $1 since last year. Last month, lawmakers had a chance to end the $4 billion in tax breaks oil companies receive annually, but the bill didn't make it out of the House of Representatives. All four Democratic House members from Long Island voted to repeal the tax breaks, but Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) followed his party, which voted unanimously to keep them. "We need to ask oil company executives to sacrifice, to pay their fair share," says Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills).Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) says getting rid of the tax breaks is just the first step. He favors reviving the idea of a windfall tax on oil companies."Clearly, Big Oil's bottom line doesn't need a boost from taxpayers," he says. President Barack Obama sent a letter to congressional leaders today asking that they consider repealing the tax breaks. Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would consider it.

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