The nearly 800-page energy bill due for consideration in the House Friday (H.R. 3221) is shaping up to be a big-government monstrosity with very little to recommend it. Thesis: Energy is too expensive and we’re too reliant on foreign supplies. Proposed solution: Require use of even more expensive sources of energy, restrict access to domestic energy supplies, and then raise taxes on them.
Now how does that work?
The NAM sent a letter to House Speaker Pelosi Tuesday registering our objections (.pdf copy here). Key points:
We share your concerns about energy security, but we remain very concerned about provisions we understand may make their way into the final House energy bill, including:
Efforts to roll back key improvements in domestic energy development, both onshore and offshore, contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005; A mandatory federal renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that would almost certainly raise electricity prices for manufacturers and individual consumers in many regions of the nation; and A tax package that imposes roughly $16 billion in massive and punitive taxes on the U.S. oil/gas industry, increasing the likelihood of higher energy costs, loss of American jobs, and further dependence on foreign sources of energy at a time of international uncertainty.
Red Caveny, president of the American Petroleum Institute, spoke on a blogger’s conference call Tuesday and made a key point: The oil and gas industry makes long-term investment decisions involving huge expenditures and infrastructure that will last for decades. These sorts of industries need a measure of certainty, of predictability, of CONSISTENCY. Instead, Congress is backtracking on the bipartisan 2005 Energy Policy Act (as noted in the NAM letter). Caveny:
How can you square voting for the bill that’s evolving right now when in fact you voted for the Energy Policy Act of 2005, because of these onerous provisions that go 180 degrees opposite? If anything, most people would agree the external circumstances have underscored the need for the Energy Policy Act changes, rather than going the other direction. That’s one of the things that’s just very hard to understand….the stated aims and objectives of those who are putting the package forward don’t square with the actual language and the provisions that have been adopted by the committees that are in the ultimate bill.
A CQ summary of Tuesday’s developments is here.
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