Senate rejects attempt to kill $35 billion worth of oil drilling tax breaks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has killed an attempt to repeal lucrative tax breaks enjoyed by the oil and gas industry.

The move by Vermont independent Bernie Sanders would have raised $35 billion over 10 years by limiting the ability of oil companies to write off drilling expenses, eliminating a tax deduction for the capital costs of oil and gas wells and repealing a tax deduction for domestic production of oil and gas.

But Sanders was on the losing end of a 61-35 vote, despite the industry's current political problems caused by the spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sanders wanted to devote $10 billion of the money to clean-energy projects and the rest to defraying the budget deficit.