In an attempt to head off politicians' talk about taxing the recent high earnings of oil companies, President Bush said last week that the industry should be allowed to reinvest its profits into energy research.

Several plans were floated on the floor of the House and Senate last week, as lawmakers talked about possibilities large and small for a "windfall" tax on oil company profits -- proposals ranged from rolling back billions of dollars in tax breaks for major oil companies, to generating $100 gas-rebate checks for taxpayers.

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