Many Bad Ideas on Energy, Packaged Together

By June 10, 2008Energy

Votes are expected today in the Senate on S. 3044, the Consumer First Energy Act, an audaciously misnamed piece of legislation that collects many of the leading bad policy ideas on energy into one huge package of economic trouble.

The National Association of Manufacturers has sent a “Key Vote” letter to Senators registering the association’s objections to provisions that:

  • Increase taxes on major energy producers by ending the Sec. 199 deduction and imposing a 25 percent windfall profits tax.  These measures will directly add to the costs of energy production, discourage new domestic oil and natural gas production and make U.S. energy investments less competitive economically with foreign opportunities. 
  • Incorporate price controls/gouging schemes that interfere with normal market forces in addressing supply and demand imbalances.
  • Eliminate the doctrine of sovereign immunity with regard to antitrust enforcement for oil, natural gas and petroleum products.  The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act language invites retaliation against the U.S. government and American companies operating overseas. 

The NAM supports energy policies that expand domestic supplies and that lower costs for U.S. consumers and manufacturers, which use one-third of our nation’s energy.  The higher costs and expanded government controls embedded in this legislation would make U.S. manufacturers less competitive in the global marketplace.

Fortunately, this appears to be a symbolic vote, and it’s unlikely that 60 Senators will vote to end cloture on the legislation.

Unfortunately, this appears to be a symbolic vote, and sponsors — it was introduced by the Majority Leadrer — obviously think the anti-business, populist, big-government finger-pointing symbolism will sell during a campaign season.

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