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  • Energy Tax Facts
  • 6 May 13

Platts: US House Ways and Means panel releases details of energy tax reform plans

The architects of Congress’ looming tax policy reform have a lot of choices when it comes to energy tax breaks and federal subsidies, the US House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee said Monday.

“The broad proposals include suggestions to eliminate all energy tax expenditures and adopt the Fair Tax or finance tax reform by imposing a carbon tax,” the committee said in a report. “Some slightly more narrow comments call for eliminating all tax expenditures benefiting renewable technologies or replacing them with a technology neutral approach.”

The 558-page report summarized current tax laws and suggestions for reforms, outlines dozens of potential changes to the federal tax code for oil and gas production, credits for wind and solar productions and tax structures for renewable energy projects.

The report summarized more than 1,300 submissions from stakeholders to Ways and Means on the tax reform efforts, Representatives Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican and the committee’s chairman, and Sander Levin, a Michigan Democrat and the committee’s ranking member, said in a statement.

“The committee will dig into its details over the coming weeks,” Camp and Levin said in a statement.

The report examines suggestions made to 11 separate working groups, including the Working Group on Energy, which is chaired by Representatives Kevin Brady, Republican-Texas, and Mike Thompson, Democrat-California.

These suggestions include keeping various tax preferences for oil and gas companies such as the enhanced oil recovery credit, the deduction for intangible drilling costs and the percentage depletion deduction in place. Other comments suggest eliminating these preferences entirely.

Other suggestions include eliminating or extending more long-term the production tax credit for renewables, including wind and solar. Other suggestions called for extending this PTC to cover waste heat, biogas, renewable chemicals and other bio-based products.

Last month, the Senate Finance Committee released a 15-page paper which outlined dozens of similar options for revamping tax policies that have long applied to electricity generators, oil and gas drillers and other players in the energy sector.