3 of 13
BACKNEXT
A windfall profits tax on Big Oil
This idea is a recurring theme among lawmakers, especially Democrats.

Barack Obama would impose a windfall profits tax on the big oil companies whenever oil crossed the $80 a barrel mark. Some analysts feel $80 a barrel is what oil 'should' be priced at, factoring out investment money and unfounded supply fears. The cash would be given to low income people to help them offset their energy costs.

Another idea along these lines is eliminating oil company tax breaks and using the money to fund research into renewable sources.

Opponents say raising taxes on oil companies will result in less oil production, and ultimately lead to higher prices. If the government didn't tax oil companies and simply borrowed the cash to give consumers, they say, that would only hurt the dollar and send oil prices higher.

NEXT: Enacting a 'cap and trade' plan

Last updated September 25 2008: 3:43 PM ET
More Galleries
The 13 most WTF gadgets From the weird to the gross, these 13 gadgets will make you wonder why they even exist. More
Best-loved cars in America These cars and trucks topped J.D. Power's APEAL survey, which measures how much owners like their new vehicles. More
America's most powerful cars A new 'horsepower war' has erupted among U.S. automakers and these are the most potent weapons in their arsenals. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.