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Energy Tax Bill Passes In Senate

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

17 December 2007

Senate Republicans have passed an amended energy bill, following the recent decision to remove controversial tax increases from the measure.

The bill, which was initially rejected in the upper house over a proposed oil tax increase, this time passed successfully with a vote of 86-8.

Put forward by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Finance Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) , the bill is aimed at not only improving the development of advanced electricity infrastructure, but also contains incentives to mitigate carbon emissions, promotes the production of alternative energy and the security of the domestic fuel supply, supports the use of alternative vehicles, and encourages energy savings and efficiency.

The Senators announced when they proposed the amended package last week that "modest changes" had been made which should give the legislation a better chance of passage by the full Senate as part of the larger energy bill.

“If America’s really going to make a change in terms of energy policy, encouraging new energy strategies in the tax code must be part and parcel of that effort. The energy tax package we’re unveiling today in the Senate is just as strong and just as needed as the legislation passed by the House,” declared Baucus at the time, adding:

“This tax package can help to chart a bold course toward energy independence for America, and will also eliminate outdated incentives from the past. Encouraging the development of renewable fuels, rewarding energy conservation, and requiring responsibility from today’s energy producers are the right roles for tax policy to play in this country’s energy future.”

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