Oil Taxes: Obama's 'American Hustle'
Director David O. Russell's hugely entertaining movie American Hustle came away empty-handed at the Academy Awards last night despite 10 nominations.
For years, President Obama has come up just as empty trying to end what many Democrats call a hustle of sorts: Billions of dollars worth of annual tax incentives for oil and natural gas production.
Obama will unveil his proposed fiscal year 2015 budget plan Tuesday. Like his past plans, this one will probably call on Congress to kill incentives that the White House calls unnecessary.
It won't happen. The oil industry has proven adept, year after year, at protecting tax incentives that backers call vital to encouraging domestic oil-and-gas production and the jobs that come with it.
Absent a seismic shift in the politics of energy policy, Tuesday's budget plan will be the script for political theater with a familiar ending.
TOP ENERGY NEWS
By Clare Foran (@ckmarie)
EUROPE'S CARBON MARKET GETS SECOND CHANCE AT SUCCESS. Carbon emissions trading permits will soon be restricted in a bid to incentivize companies to cut back on air pollution.
- Our take: The struggles of Europe's emissions trading market have emboldened critics of pricing carbon. Can the Europeans right the ship?
CRUDE BATTLE FLARES WITH DUELING REPORTS. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, says history is on her side as she presses the Obama administration to relax restrictions on U.S. crude oil exports.
EPA STRIKES BACK AT SULFUR EMISSIONS. The agency released its Tier 3 standards aimed at cutting back on sulfur blended in gasoline and pollution from tailpipe emissions.
RUSSIAN ENERGY SHARES PLUMMET. Speculation that tensions in Ukraine will disrupt oil and gas shipments throughout eastern Europe is hurting shareholders in Russia's state-owned gas company Gazprom. (Paywall)
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RUSSIAN MINISTER BACKS OUT OF ENERGY CONFERENCE. Ukrainian-born Russian energy minister Alexander Novak will no longer appear at IHS CERAWeek, an energy conference held in Houston, due to the escalating conflict in Ukraine.
HUNDREDS ARRESTED AT KEYSTONE PROTEST. Demonstrators say approving Keystone XL would tarnish President Obama's legacy on climate change.
EPA HEAD DEFENDS ADMINISTRATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says new vehicle-emission limits will improve the quality of life for residents of heavily-trafficked urban areas.
MARCELLUS SHALE: YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET. A new report says that natural gas production from the region will continue to surge for years to come.
CHINA SPENDS BIG ON SMOG LAB. China's Academy of Sciences will pour the equivalent of $81 million into the creation of a new air pollution control research center.
VALERO CHIEF STEPS ASIDE. Bill Klesse, the CEO of Valero Energy Corp., will hand over the title at the beginning of May after a more than four decade-long run at the company. (Paywall)
WASHINGTON'S NEWEST THINK TANK FOCUSES ON GREEN POWER. Matthew Stepp, executive director of the new Center for Clean Energy Innovation, says the goal is tackling climate change with technology.
NATIONAL JOURNAL ENERGY POLL: Will Congress support President Obama's proposal for a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund in the 2015 budget?
A) Yes, even Republicans skeptical about climate change have districts affected by extreme weather
B) Yes, but only after cutting the amount of money for the fund
C) No, but some type of program to address extreme weather will be proposed by Republicans
D) No, the president's proposal is dead on arrival
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING…
CAN CONGRESS PASS ENERGY-EFFICIENCY? Is there enough political will to carry energy-efficiency across the finish line? And what's at stake—politically, economically, and environmentally—if energy efficiency gets stuck in the mud?
"In an election year there is incentive to both sides for political gamesmanship and there is a real danger, particularly in the Senate, that the primary season will cause challenged politicians to eschew cooperation in favor of partisan politics. Thus, we look to House and Senate leadership to set an example and rise above the perceived short term gains of spurning bipartisan cooperation, and to instead throw their efforts behind passing good energy efficiency legislation." -Kateri Callahan, president, Alliance to Save Energy
FISHERIES HEARING. The House Natural Resources Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee holds a hearing on "National Fish Hatchery System: Strategic Hatchery and Workforce Planning Report."
RULES HEARING. The House Rules Committee meets to formulate a rule on H.R.3826, the "Electricity Security and Affordability Act."
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