A Key Vote Letter Opposing the Energy Bill

By December 12, 2007Energy, Taxation

The National Association of Manufacturers today sent a “Key Vote” letter to the U.S. Senate urging opposition to the substitute to the energy legislation being introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). The letter can be read here, and the basic point is this:

NAM members support energy policies that: 1) expand domestic supplies; and 2) lower costs for U.S. consumers and for manufacturers, which use one-third of our nation’s energy. Access to competitively priced energy helps U.S. companies compete in the global economy and preserves high-paying jobs here at home. This legislation, while improved over previous iterations, still does not meet these goals.

Instead of seeking to ensure an adequate and affordable energy supply for all Americans, the legislation aims to punish oil and gas companies and their employees, ruling them ineligible for the Section 199 deduction for domestic manufacturing activities. Excluding the income from U.S. oil and natural gas production, refining and processing from this tax benefit will discourage new oil and gas investments in the United States by making domestic energy investments less competitive economically with foreign opportunities. We adamantly oppose congressional efforts to select energy “winners” and “losers” by forcing one industry sector to pay for the benefits of others and remain concerned by the precedent such a strategy would set.

While we are pleased with the energy efficiency initiatives in the bill and the removal of renewable portfolio standard language, we are strongly concerned about the absence of any meaningful provisions to expand domestic energy supplies. The NAM remains committed to proposals that enhance U.S. energy security through increased production of all types of energy, improved conservation and efficiency, more research on technology and alternative energy, increased access to domestic sources with continued environmental protections, and improved distribution.

Key votes are used in determining the year-end rankings of congressional support on manufacturing issues.

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