The Republican-crafted energy bill has drawn Democratic fire on a host of provisions affecting the oil and natural gas industry, which they say will “raid the Treasury for billions.”
Democrats cited the $1.1 billion in direct spending going to Gulf Coast state and Alaska; $1.5 billion in spending for ultra-deepwater oil and gas R&D, “principally benefiting a consortium led by Texas A&M, the University of Houston and Louisiana State University.” They also cited $500 million going to the Denali Commission in Alaska and “tens of millions in special royalty payments to the state of Louisiana and three Texas and Louisiana based oil companies.”
In addition, Democrats took aim at reduced royalties, which they said also rob taxpayers and the bill’s directives for speeding up drilling programs. The minority party also objected to exemptions for oil and gas operations from the Clean Water Act and other environmental measures, and said the new law fails to outlaw power market manipulation.
These were just a few of the items listed in a “parade of horribles” issued by the Democratic members of the energy bill conference committee Monday as the committee prepared to vote.
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