Olson Denounces Energy Crushing Legislation
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) today issued the following statement in opposition to House passage of H.R. 3534, the CLEAR Act, legislation which will destroy American jobs, increase energy costs, and increase our nationâ€™s dependency on foreign oil.
â€œCommon sense has been overlooked in a rush to pass a bill. This bill achieves a de-facto moratorium on offshore oil and gas production through higher taxes and regulations. It extends the approval process for exploration plans indefinitely, adds layers of bureaucracy and imposes unlimited liability. I offered a common sense amendment to allow liability limits to be assessed on a case by case basis, ensuring that smaller drilling firms would not be squeezed out through limits they cannot afford. Sadly, the Majority refused to even consider this amendment. Republicans also tried - unsuccessfully - to lift the existing offshore drilling moratorium to ensure no additional Americans jobs move overseas with rigs that have been sitting idle. We had an opportunity to improve the regulatory process and get American energy workers back on the job, yet this bill failed miserably.â€
Highlights of H.R. 3534:
- New Tax on American Energy: The CLEAR Act includes a new tax on oil and natural gas produced on all existing and new federal onshore and offshore leases. The tax would be $2 per barrel of oil and 20 cents per million British thermal units of natural gas. This cost would eventually be passed on to American consumers of energyâ€”small business, families, and farmers. It is estimated that this tax will total $22 billion in ten years, and the taxes will eventually climb to $3 billion per year.
- Unlimited Liability Kills Jobs and Local Revenue: The CLEAR Act includes unlimited liability for offshore energy producers. This would effectively eliminate smaller and independent producers from operating if they cannot obtain insurance policies to cover their operations. According to a recent study, these producers account for more than half of offshore jobs and $147 billion in federal, state and local revenues between now and 2020.
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