House Energy Bill Increases Taxes and Creates Energy Slush Fund, but Provides No New Energy

EMBARGOED until H.R. 6 passage

January 18, 2007
05:28 PM
Washington, D.C.The energy bill passed by the House this evening has everything in it but an energy policy, Senator Pete V. Domenici said today. Domenici joins a growing chorus of critics, including newspaper editorial writers across the political spectrum, dismayed by the bill’s lack of any strategy for increasing energy supply, conserving more energy, making energy cleaner or making energy more affordable.
The bill increases taxes on oil and gas companies and seeks to ban dozens of companies – most of them American – from producing oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. The legislation also creates an energy slush fund estimated at approximately $14 billion but doesn’t spell out how the money will be spent.
Chairman Domenici’s statement:
“This bill is particularly disappointing when you contrast it to the bipartisan energy accomplishments of the 109th Congress. The American people won’t get so much as a kilowatt hour of electricity or a drop of fuel from this bill. After all the ballyhoo from House leadership, I expected this bill to do something to help us produce or conserve more energy. But it does nothing except raise taxes on the oil industry, shut our oil and gas companies out of the Gulf and create a multi-billion dollar slush fund with no plans for how it should be spent.
“The only sure impact I see from this legislation is climbing oil and gas prices. The House bill does zero for wind energy; zero for solar energy and zero for ethanol. It does nothing for conservation, nothing for efficiency and nothing for the research or development of new energies. It doesn’t do a single thing to encourage advanced energies like nuclear power or coal gasification.
“I am stunned and disappointed by the complete lack of strategy or vision in this bill. This is nothing but a tax and spend bill masquerading as an energy policy.”