SENATE PASSES OVERDUE COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY BILL

Today’s Bill Represents A Step Toward Energy Self-Sufficiency

WASHINGTON---U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today voted to approve the Senate’s version of a comprehensive energy plan for the nation. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6) passed the Senate this morning by an 85-12 vote.

“We were able to work many provisions into this bill that will be very helpful to oil producing states like Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. “The deep gas provisions as well as the 100% expensing for refineries have the potential for real benefit to Oklahomans and our nation. I would anticipate that many of the provisions that I oppose will be addressed in conference. This will be a far better bill when it comes out of conference than it is today.

“We’ve been trying to get an energy bill since the Reagan administration. This is a small beginning, but one we can build on. The ultimate goal of energy self-sufficiency will not be achieved with this bill, but it is a start.”

Senator Inhofe worked to include Oklahoma specific provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Some of those with particular importance to Oklahoma are:

Deep Gas Tax Credit

  • Senator Inhofe’s Natural Gas Production Tax Credit Act would add deep gas to Section 43 of the Internal Revenue Service Code. According to the Senate language, producers would be eligible for an enhanced recovery credit equal to 15 percent of the qualified costs incurred in a tax year for natural gas produced by onshore wells from formations more than 20,000 feet deep.

Expensing for New Refinery Construction

  • The provision included by the Senate Finance Committee at Senator Inhofe’s request permits a refinery to expense the costs of the infrastructure if it expands by five percent capacity or to expense 100 percent if a new refinery is built. Construction must occur by January 2008 and the facilities must be placed into service before January 2012.