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Energy Edge

Baucus Tilts at Tax Windmill: Energy Edge - Brought to You by Chevron

December 18, 2013

Baucus Tilts at Tax Windmill

At the very least, you should commend Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., for his tenacity.

Against the odds, the clock, and many of his colleagues, Baucus is forging ahead on his goal to reform the nation's tax laws before he retires. The latest round in this effort came today when his office released a draft proposal that simplifies the web of energy tax provisions. It sparked a flurry of mixed reactions across the energy sector.


Congress is very unlikely to genuinely reform the tax code before the 2014 midterm elections. At that point, Baucus is out and the new chairman will want to do tax reform his own way.

For now, most of Washington isn't paying attention to what Baucus is trying to do on tax reform, especially when he himself is talking more about President Obama's health care law.

Amy Harder 


By Clare Foran (@ckmarie) and Ben Geman (@Ben_Geman)

CHAIRMAN OFFERS ENERGY TAX OVERHAUL. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is pitching an overhaul of energy tax policy that he says will simplify today's "confusing and costly" maze of incentives.

BEALE SENTENCED IN EPA FRAUD. The former Environmental Protection Agency official was sentenced in federal court to spend 32 months in prison.

MANCHIN, ALEXANDER CALL FOR EXPIRATION OF WPTC. A group of senators led by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., want the wind production tax credit gone.

LAWMAKERS WEIGH IN ON CRUDE DEBATE. Shipping U.S. crude oil overseas has been banned since 1973, but Congress is poised to revisit the issue.

HEITKAMP SLAMS RFS PROPOSAL. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a letter to Gina McCarthy that the 2014 renewable-fuel standard proposal will devastate North Dakota biofuels producers.

ENERGY GIANTS REPORT OIL DISCOVERY. BP and ConocoPhillips say they have made a "significant" new discovery in the Gulf of Mexico.

PRICES AT THE PUMP POISED TO FALL. Analysts say the cost of gasoline will decrease heading into the end of the year.

FORMER BP EMPLOYEE CONVICTED IN DEEPWATER CASE. Kurt Mix, a former drilling engineer for BP, was charged with obstruction of justice in an investigation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

HOUSE DEMS CALL FOR FRACKING HEARING. Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., are asking for a hearing to examine whether fracking wastewater injection induces seismic activity.

FEDS ASK FOR INPUT ON EAGLE DEATHS. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting public comments on a proposal to issue an eagle take permit at what is set to become the country's biggest wind farm.

FORMER ENERGY SECRETARY JOINS CCS COMPANY. Steven Chu will become a member of the board of directors for a Canadian company that works on carbon capture and storage projects.


SENATE MARKUP. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will mark up a number of bills, including the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act of 2013 and the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act.

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