Clean Energy/Anti Oil and Gas Tax Bill Advances

NSWA Legislative ReportLeave a Comment

Chris Kearney | NSWA Vice President, Governmental Affairs

The Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) has reported the Clean Energy for America Act to the full Senate.

The legislation, which has been reported out of the committee, is intended to convert the existing regime of technology-specific energy tax credits into a “tech-neutral” approach to the tax code that allows for consolidation of current energy tax incentives into emissions-based provisions that incentivize clean electricity, clean transportation, and energy efficiency (Production Tax Credit for Wind and Solar will – under this bill – become a general tax credit available for all renewable energy sources).

In so doing – and ostensibly to pay for its cost, the bill eliminates tax treatments for oil and gas companies, including expensing of intangible drilling costs, percentage depletion, deductions for tertiary injectants, and credits for enhanced oil recovery, marginal oil wells, coal gasification, and advanced coal projects.

The bill also reinstates the current taxation of multinational oil companies’ non-extraction income and ensures multinational oil companies are not specially exempted from the 2017 tax law’s global minimum tax. It also repeals the special treatment of fossil fuels under the publicly traded partnership rules, putting them on equal footing with other energy companies and closing down the “Lone Star Loophole.”

NSWA, board members, and staff have been very engaged in bipartisan outreach to Chairman Wyden and other members of the committee regarding our strong opposition to the bill and have been, and will continue to, work with NARO and other organizations that benefit from percentage depletion to educate members on the importance of the provision and the need to restore it prior to Floor consideration. NSWA’s recently completed study on the economic impact of losing percentage depletion has been shared with members of the committee and has been very well received.

NSWA’s aggressive efforts to educate the broader membership of the Senate as we await action on the bill will continue.            

Continued Discussions of “Hard Infrastructure” 

Senate GOP legislators, led by Senate Environment and Public Works Ranking Republican Shelly Moore Capito, have offered a reported $1 trillion counteroffer to the White House’s most recent $1.7 trillion proposal. The next round of face-to-face meetings between the two sides has yet to be scheduled.  

While more progressive members of the Senate Democratic caucus are growing impatient with WH-GOP negotiations, and are urging the White House to end discussions and move forward on a partisan basis,  the White House remains optimistic and, importantly, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Joe Manchin (D-WV) – the well-known centrist Democrat who is key to all negotiations, complimented the Republicans for their effort and expressed his continued interest in working with them on various elements of their plan.           

In the House of Representatives, Transportation Committee Democrats continue work on their bill, with a timetable of late June for releasing their bill.    

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