July 29,2005

Baucus Hails Passage of Energy Bill

Legislation Heads To President For Signature

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus hailed the passage of the comprehensiveenergy bill that passed the Senate by a 74 to 26 vote. The House passed the bill yesterday andnow the bill will head to the president’s desk for signature. The package will lessen America’sreliance on foreign sources of energy, boost renewable resources, and provide reliable energy forthe nation.

As ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus worked with ChairmanGrassley to write the tax provisions in the legislation. Tax incentives in the bill will acceleratedomestic energy production, increase conservation efforts, and develop alternative sources ofenergy such as wind, solar, bio-mass, ethanol, and clean-coal technology. Senator Baucus’ floorstatement on the energy bill follows:

Floor Statement of U.S. Senator Max Baucus on the Energy Policy ActMr. President, for four years, Congress has failed to enact a comprehensive energy bill.Today, however, I am confident that we can change that record.

The conference committee has assembled a well-balanced package. It is right forAmerica. We should send it to the President’s desk.

The House and the Senate gave the conferees a difficult task. The House and Senateenergy bills took two very different approaches to tax policy. The two bills had very little incommon. Thus we could not include everything in both bills without busting our budget.Most of the provisions in the House bill promoted investment in traditional energyinfrastructure. It favored pipelines, electricity lines, and oil and gas production.In contrast, the Senate bill — which I helped develop with my good friend SenatorGrassley — advanced new technologies. It encouraged conservation efforts, improved energyefficiency, and expanded use of alternative fuels.

Conference negotiations were hard fought. We made some tough decisions. But overall,the process was very positive. We kept within our budget. And we worked with a spirit ofcompromise and cooperation.

The energy tax incentives that the conference has recommended take an evenhandedapproach to an array of promising technologies.

For example, the bill provides a uniform period for claiming production tax credits undersection 45 of the tax code. This encourages production of electricity from all sources ofrenewable energy.

The bill recognizes the value of coal and other traditional energy sources to oureconomy. It provides investment tax credits for clean-burning coal facilities and projects. Itprovides substantial tax incentives to facilitate much-needed expansion of refinery capacity.And it promotes expansion of American energy delivery systems.

The bill recognizes the need for a diverse energy portfolio. It fosters energy productionfrom wind or coal in Montana to geothermal sources in California. And it will help create jobsby promoting domestic energy production.

The bill also rewards energy conservation and efficiency. It includes incentives forenergy-efficient homes, alternative fuel vehicles, and development of fuel cell technology.These incentives are environmentally responsible. They reduce pollution. And they helpimprove people’s health.

These energy tax incentives are good for America. They will promote the delivery ofreliable, affordable energy to consumers. They will help to create jobs through domestic energyproduction. And they make meaningful progress toward energy independence.

I am proud of the effort that produced the conference agreement. I encourage myColleagues to support this important legislation.