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Thornberry says, ‘no more excuses’ when it comes to domestic energy

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Washington, May 23, 2013 | comments

This week, U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) introduced the latest version of his bill to promote domestic energy production.  H.R. 2081, the “No More Excuses Energy Act of 2013,” would encourage the production of all forms of domestic energy including oil and gas, nuclear, and alternative energy and fuels.

“Congress needs to reduce the amount of regulation coming out of Washington and encourage all forms of energy production here at home,” said Thornberry.  “We need national energy policies that create jobs and grow the economy; basically, we should be trying to replicate what Texas has been doing the past 15 years.  This bill is meant to do just that – help to lower energy prices and create jobs by getting government out of the way of producers.”

Currently, more than 400,000 people in Texas work in the oil and gas industry, and the Texas unemployment rate is a full point lower than the national average at 6.4 percent.  Thornberry pointed to those statistics while saying, “If the President is serious about creating jobs, he should be encouraging Congress to pass bills like this one that will unleash the full economic force of the energy sector.”

Thornberry’s bill has gained wide support among energy producers in Texas, including the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers and the Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association. 

"Congressman Thornberry has introduced an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy solution with the introduction of his No More Excuses Energy Act of 2013.  The nation is going to need to maximize production of crude oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar to meet consumer demands in the future,” said Alex Mills the president of Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

The energy boom in America continues to be one of the few bright spots in the national economy.  Just last month, the Interior Department’s United States Geological Survey released a new report that found the oil-and-gas reserves in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana hold twice as much shale oil and three times as much gas than previously estimated.

“Consumers are justifiably tired of the yo-yo of prices for gasoline at the pump.  Often, those wild fluctuations are a direct result of a refinery issue that calls for a curtailment in production,” said Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association Executive Vice President Wayne Hughes. “The loss, however temporary, of a fraction of refinery output sends shock waves through the fuel distribution system. If our economy is to continue to grow, we must have reliable fuel sources and consistent pricing.  Adding additional refinery capacity would be an effective way to assure a consistent energy supply the consumer could rely on for the long haul.”

The “No More Excuses Energy Act of 2013” includes provisions that: 

  • Encourages new refinery construction by allowing tax exempt bonds to be used for construction of certain refineries and making federal lands available for refinery construction.
  • Opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to responsible drilling, potentially producing nearly a million barrels per day.
  • Removes the moratorium on drilling for offshore oil and gas in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and ensures that all offshore areas are open to responsible oil and gas production.
  • Encourages production of onshore natural gas produced from wells more than 15,000 feet deep.
  • Encourages investment in a much-needed industrial base for building new nuclear power plants by reducing the tax burden on that industry.
  • Responsibly boosts alternative energy development by extending and phasing out the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).
  • Prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
  • Repeals the minimum capture requirement for the CO2 sequestration credit in order to help smaller facilities qualify for the credit.  This credit applies to permanent storage and CO2 used as a tertiary injectant for enhanced oil or natural gas recovery.
  • Makes the excise tax on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and diesel comparable on an energy-equivalent basis and extends the Alternative Fuel Credit through 2014.  This credit applies to liquefied petroleum gas, P Series Fuels, compressed or liquefied natural gas, any liquid derived from coal through the Fisher-Tropsch process, and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass.  It does not include ethanol, methanol, or biodiesel.
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