H.R. 6, The Clean Energy Act of 2007
January 17, 2007
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, opposes H.R. 6, The Clean Energy Act of 2007. If enacted by Congress, this legislation will further impede domestic oil and gas production. Energy is the single most important resource underpinning America's economy, national security, global competitiveness, and way of life. Any effort, including H.R. 6, that reduces domestic energy production forces a continued reliance to foreign oil and transfers the nation's wealth to many unstable parts of the world.
H.R. 6 would repeal tax incentives that encourage investment in domestic oil and gas production and refining. It would also force energy companies to renegotiate existing lease contracts. This legislation is part of a continuing effort to penalize an industry that has brought immense economic wealth to the United States and its citizens. Congress and various Administrations have perhaps imposed more regulations on the oil and gas industry than any other industry in the United States. To build one new refinery alone requires over 700 permits. Moreover, at a time when energy security is most important, Congress has voted time and time again to deny industry access to energy resources in Alaska, the vast majority of the Outer Continental Shelf, and the Rocky Mountains. Now, as a final assault, the House wants to deny tax incentives that are provided to other manufacturing industries.
The Chamber supports the rapid development of alternative fuels, including sixty provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 relating to emerging energy technologies that will eventually replace our carbon-based fuel supply. However, these emerging technologies are neither developed nor commercially viable enough to replace even a fraction of the energy America receives fromhydrocarbon sources. The transition from our current economy to one run on non-hydrocarbon basedfuels will take decades. Already, the nation has taken key steps in this direction, but enactinglegislation that drives oil and gas exploration out of the country is not the solution.
The Chamber stands ready to have a fact-based dialogue with Congress so that the entire nation understands the relationship of energy to our lives, the options we have, and the investment and sacrifice that it will take to seriously move away from hydrocarbons without so negatively impacting our economy. For the reasons stated above, the Chamber strongly urges you to oppose H.R. 6, and may consider votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten