Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici lauded the House passage this afternoon of his OCS legislation, legislation that will bring 1.26 billion barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to market over the next several years.
“I am particularly pleased that the House sent this language back to the Senate without amending it,” Domenici said. “House leaders and committee chairmen listened to us when we told them we couldn’t get an amended provision through the Senate. I thank them for their sensitivity to the political realities in the Senate and their deep commitment to American consumers and American workers. This vote is a victory for families worried about their soaring energy bills. It’s a victory for small businesses struggling to make a profit in this era of unstable energy prices. It’s a victory for manufacturers, particularly chemical manufacturers, fighting to keep their plants despite the soaring cost of natural gas.
“We have seen the closure of hundreds of plants and the loss of more than three million American jobs in recent years because of rising energy prices. I believe this House vote today and the Senate vote tomorrow will help stem the hemorrhage of American jobs overseas and ease the burden of high energy costs on families and businesses.”
The OCS provision was part of a larger measure extending several popular tax relief programs. The tax package includes a broad array of energy tax provisions that will encourage the expansion of renewable energy, facilitate the production of cleaner energy and expand efforts by businesses and homeowners to conserve more energy.
“This entire package is vital to America’s energy future. When we passed the energy bill last year, we set this country on a course toward a future of clean, abundant and affordable energy. Extending these energy tax measures is vital to keeping on that important course. I will work to get this bill through the Senate as quickly as possible.” Domenici said.
The energy tax provisions in the package include:
- Extending of credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources. This Section 45 extension for one-year is critical to continued installation of commercial electricity generation projects from wind and solar sources.
- Extending of tax credit to holders of clean renewable energy bonds.
- Modifying of the clean coal gasification tax credit by providing a technical fix to the 2005 Energy Policy Act by setting a different reduction target for sulfur dioxide emissions from sub-bituminous coal, which already is a low-sulfur coal, in order to qualify for investment tax credits for installing clean coal technology.
- Extension of deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings extending for one year a deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings that reduce annual energy and power consumption by 50 percent.
- Extension for one year of a business credit to eligible contractors for building energy efficient new homes.
- Extending for one year a residential credit of 30 percent for purchasing qualified photovoltaic property and solar water heating property, and for qualified fuel cell power plants
- Extending for one year a 30 percent energy credit for the business installation of qualified fuel cells, stationary microturbine power plants, and solar equipment.
- Extending a reduced excise tax rate for qualified methanol or ethanol fuel produced from coal.
- New special depreciation allowance for cellulosic biomass ethanol plant property.
- Modification of the coke and coke gas production tax credit.