The House has again passed an energy tax bill that would increase taxes on major oil and gas producers by $18 billion while providing incentives for renewable energy.
The Senate has already blocked similar legislation three times in the past year. The White House has also threatened to veto the bill, which the House passed by a 236-182 vote. But House leaders hailed passage of the bill, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008.
"The issues of global warming, climate change and America's addiction to foreign oil have arisen on our watch and they have reached the level of a national crisis that threatens our health, our economy and our national security," said Charles Rangel (pictured), D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, in a statement. "If we are to end our dangerous reliance on foreign oil and create the green-collar jobs of tomorrow, we have an obligation to find renewable energy sources."
H.R. 5351 includes a long-term extension of the renewable energy production tax credit, extending it for three years, through Dec. 31, 2011, for wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, and trash combustion facilities. It also includes a new category of qualifying facilities that generate electricity from marine renewables, such as waves and tides.
The bill extends the 30 percent investment tax credit for solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property for eight years (through the end of 2016). It increases the $500-per-half-kilowatt of capacity cap for qualified fuel cells to $1,500 per half kilowatt of capacity. The bill authorizes $2 billion of new clean renewable energy bonds for public power providers and electric cooperatives. It also extends the credit for residential solar property for six years, through the end of 2014.
However, the bill denies section 199 benefits for certain major integrated oil companies, and freezes the current benefits at 6 percent for oil and natural gas production income of other taxpayers. The bill excludes gross receipts derived from the sale, exchange or other disposition of oil, natural gas, or any of the primary products from the domestic production deduction for large integrated oil companies.
The bill also closes a loophole on foreign oil and gas extraction income. It would require oil and gas companies to use the ascertainable independent market values at the nearest point to the well for which an independent market exists in calculating their foreign oil and gas extraction income and foreign oil-related income.
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