Domenici announces energy tax increase

DOMENICI STATEMENT ON HOUSE ENERGY TAX INCREASES

            WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today issued the following statement regarding House passage of an $18 billion tax increase on domestic oil and natural gas production:

            “Here we go again.  The House of Representatives has once again passed a punitive tax increase aimed squarely at domestic energy production.  This was a bad idea when it was first passed the House in January 2007, and it’s a bad idea now.  The last thing we should be doing at a time when America is increasingly dependent on foreign oil is making it tougher to produce our own energy.

            “It is particularly unfortunate that House Democrats have chosen to use renewable energy tax credits as a political football.  These tax credits for wind, solar, biomass and other technologies are set to expire at the end of this year.  I strongly support extending these tax credits, and in fact pushed for their inclusion in the economic stimulus package.  It is clear to me that America must pursue all its available resources if we are to meet our energy challenges.

            “It is also interesting to me that Senate Democrats are reportedly considering using the budget reconciliation process to pass these measures.  In the past, I attempted to use that process to expand production in ANWR.  Back then, oil prices were much lower, and yet we were seeking to add domestic production with the hope of ultimately lowering prices for consumers.   This time, with the price of oil over $100 per barrel, Democrats are proposing taxes that could result in less production and higher prices at the pump.

            “Instead of wasting more of the Senate’s time on a proposal to punish American oil and gas companies, we should instead focus on finding a bipartisan way to extend the renewable energy tax credits without increasing energy costs to Americans before they expire.”