"The Bush Administration has let the oil companies run the pump for too long without any real investment in renewable fuels," said Casey. "In one month alone in Pennsylvania gas prices have gone up 20 cents while oil companies continue to make billions in profits. Consumers are feeling the heavy burden of high gas prices in businesses and farms across the country. My bill will increase our energy independence while providing relief at the pump and taking away taxpayer subsidies for big oil."
"Today's prices at the pump are largely the result of the politics and instabilities in the Middle East," said Senator Webb. "When we went into Iraq, oil was $24 a barrel, today it's $66 a barrel. This escalation, which has provided an unearned windfall for big oil companies, hits the consumer hard. We need to take the sting out of these rising prices by reclaiming our energy independence.
"The bill that we're introducing today recoups some of the skyrocketing corporate profits of the big oil companies, invests in alternative energy sources, and eases the burden of low income Americans at the pump," said Webb.
Senator Casey's bill: A) Creates the National Energy Security Research and Investment Reserve which funds biofuels research and biofuels infrastructure projects. Revenues are placed in a reserve so that money from closing tax loopholes and repealing tax breaks can be directed to specific energy programs. The Reserve is paid for by:
closing the Last In, First Out (LIFO) tax loophole
closing the Foreign Tax Credits loophole
repealing Sec. 344 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which provides royalty reductions for shallow water production at certain depths
repealing Sec.345 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which provides royalty relief for deep water production
repealing Sec. 346 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which provides royalty suspension offshore of Alaska
repealing Sec. 1329 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which made the tax credit for amortization of geological and geophysical expenditures 7 years
B) Taxes excess profits of major integrated oil companies at a rate of 50% of the profits that they make off the portion of oil priced above $50 per barrel. The funds generated are used for the Low Income Transportation Energy Assistance Program (LITEAP) which helps pay for gasoline, diesel, or mass transit expenses. Like LIHEAP each state would get a pot of money to distribute to low-income families with a cap of $1,500 per individual or $2,500 per family.