March 12,2003

Baucus Joint Energy Statement with Grassley, Domenici and Bingaman

Statement of Senator Max Baucus
Energy Tax Incentives Act
March 11, 2003

MR. PRESIDENT, I am pleased to join Chairman Grassley in introducing the EnergyTax Incentives Act of 2003. The Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Energy and NaturalResources Committee, Senators Domenici and Bingaman, are also original sponsors of thislegislation.

This legislation is very similar to the Energy Tax Incentives Bill that won overwhelmingsupport on the Senate floor last April and provides a strong starting point for the Senate FinanceCommittee towards a mark-up of an energy tax bill.

The urgency for this legislation at this point in time is particularly critical. Gasolineprices in the U.S. are at record levels. Low inventories, high crude oil prices, recent coldweather and continuing industry concern about a possible war with Iraq have raised gas pricesclose to the highest price ever recorded. This situation is not expected to improve in the nearfuture.

To help alleviate this situation, this bill proposes a balanced package of alternativeenergy, traditional energy production and energy efficiency incentives. This legislation beginsfrom the premise that we may accomplish energy policy goals by targeting market incentives—in the form of tax deductions and credits—at certain investments. The bill would accomplishthis in three ways. First, we create incentives for new production, especially production fromimportant renewable sources. Second, we create incentives for the development of newtechnology. Third, we create incentives for energy conservation.

Through targeted market incentives we hope to encourage the development of alternativesources of production and technologies, thereby boosting our overall energy resources. This willhelp promote energy independence in the United States, which will contribute to both greatereconomic growth and national security. At the same time, by encouraging development ofsources of renewable energy and energy efficiency, we will also encourage pollution reductionand improve human health and the environment.

I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important piece of legislation.