The NAM continues wading through various bits and pieces and representations of the energy bill, a legislative product still aborning, negotiations still hawing, but signs are not encouraging. From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON — Defying a threat of a presidential veto, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to push ahead with a $21 billion tax package, including repeal of tax breaks for major oil companies, as part of an energy bill, aides to the speaker said Tuesday.
Increasing taxes on domestic energy producers will do what, precisely, to lower gas prices at the pump? Or lower heating prices for consumers? Or help U.S. industry compete in the global economy? Because billions of dollars in new taxes certainly won’t encourage investment in domestic energy exploration or production.
If these and other production-discouraging policies come to floor, politics will have trumped the rational policy arguments for a comprehensive energy strategy that builds on the basic energy foundation of our economy — coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear (acknowledging hydroelectricity). When we face an energy supply-and-demand crisis, a bill that omits supply is not serious.
Maybe we’re wrong. Maybe changes are forthcoming. Maybe …
Key components in the energy bill facing a House vote Thursday:
Gas mileage: Fleet average raised to 35 mpg by 2020
Ethanol: Use increased sevenfold by 2022
Renewable energy: Requires utilities’ electric power be at least 15 percent from renewable sources
Repeal tax breaks: $13.5 billion for major oil companies.
Tax increases: $7.5 billion, to make up for lost gas-tax revenue
Tax credits: Extended for solar and wind energy
Subsidies: Hybrid cars, development of geothermal and biomass power
Source: The Associated Press
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