Jane Van Ryan
Posted February 4, 2010
There's never a dull moment in the energy business. Check out just a few of the things that have happened during the past few days:
- The administration announced its 2011 budget proposal containing an estimated $80 billion in new taxes on the oil and natural gas industry.
- Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced legislation to retroactively change the contracts between oil companies and the federal government on some Gulf of Mexico wells. The bottom line: Markey and Van Hollen want to force oil companies to pay about $54 billion to reduce the deficit. (States News Service)
- The Senate Western Caucus criticized the Interior Department's new drilling regulations. In a letter to Interior Sec. Ken Salazar, the caucus stated, "More red tape equals fewer red, white and blue jobs. Our letter is one more step in our fight against Washington's endless effort to increase the bureaucratic burden on American workers and employers."
- Trade associations representing refiners and truckers filed suit in California to stop the state's low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The suit says the LCFS violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by imposing undue and unconstitutional burdens on interstate commerce. (API is not a party to the suit).
- The administration announced new requirements for the use of renewable fuels in the nation's gasoline pool. The rules, which were more than one year overdue, specify that refiners must put 13 billion gallons of ethanol into gasoline this year starting Jan. 1, 2010. API responded in a statement:
"While the U.S. oil and natural gas industry recognizes and appreciates the role of ethanol and other biofuels in the marketplace, we are deeply concerned that the announcement today could result in higher consumer costs. By setting retroactive requirements, refiners, and ultimately consumers, will be penalized for EPA's inability to get this rule out on time as directed by Congress."
Despite all of these challenges, the industry is committed to producing and delivering high-quality and reliable fuels to American consumers. And it stands ready to work with the administration to create jobs and help with the nation's economic recovery.
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