Washington, DC (August 2, 2007)- House Democrats face a tough call on whether to go forward with an energy policy bill paired with a contentious, separate package of energy tax measures targeting the oil and gas industry. Democrats are confident they will have the votes Friday to pass an energy measure (H.R. 3221) to provide incentives for energy efficiency, spur research and investment in new technology, and tighten regulation of the oil and gas industry.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her leadership team were making a hard push behind the scenes to round up support for a companion $16 billion tax package (H.R. 2776), which would take away tax breaks from the oil and gas industry to promote alternative energy sources.
“We still have work to do,” Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., said Thursday morning. Clyburn and his whip team were targeting dissidents among a group of about 25 lawmakers from oil- and gas-producing states, led by Gene Green, D-Texas, who remained opposed to the revenue-raising package.
Meanwhile, Republicans are preparing an alternative tax package, which could be offered as a substitute amendment or a motion to recommit, said Jim McCrery of Louisiana, the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means panel. McCrery’s proposal offers about $5 billion in tax breaks for alternative energy sources, offset by revenue increases elsewhere in the tax code.
For more information, visit Congressional Quarterly.