Senator Roberts Votes to Promote Domestic Energy Production

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today voted to extend tax incentives that encourage domestic energy production. The bill passed the Senate 93-2.

"As a member of the Senate Finance Committee," Senator Roberts said. "I have worked hard to ensure that further tax relief is available for individuals, families and businesses in this struggling economy. We extend relief to increase the production of clean, affordable domestic energy, making energy more affordable for all Americans. With family budgets strained, this extended relief has come just in time."

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Roberts helped introduce or fought to include the following proposals in the final package:

  • Extend the production tax credit for wind for one year, through 2009.
  • Extend the credit for energy produced from all other renewable energy (biomass, geothermal, trash) through 2010.
  • Extend the investment tax credit for solar energy property and the credit for micro-turbines through 2016.
  • Provide $1.5 billion in tax credits for carbon sequestration projects.
  • Provide an exemption from the heavy vehicle excise tax for the cost of idling reduction units for heavy trucks.
  • Expand the allowance for cellulosic biofuels property – allows taxpayers to immediately write off 50 percent of the cost of facilities that produce cellulosic biofuels from any feedstock if the facilities are placed in service before 2013.
  • Extend through 2009 the $1.00 per gallon PTC for biodiesel, including diesel produced from biomass, and the 10 cents/gallon credit for small biodiesel producers. This also allows renewable diesel produced from animal fats to qualify.
  • Extend the credit for alternative refueling property (E85 pumps) through 2010. Allows gas station owners to increase accessibility of ethanol to new users of flex fuel vehicles.
  • Extend the deduction for marginal oil and gas production.
  • Extend refinery expensing – allows refineries that are increasing capacity an additional two years to place the added capacity in service and still be eligible for the expensing provision.
  • Extend the tax credits for energy-efficient homes, both new and existing, and commercial buildings.

Each of these provisions is fully offset. 

"As with any compromise legislation," Roberts said. "There are sections of this bill that I do not support, particularly the freezing of the Section 199 tax relief on independent oil and gas industries that contribute over $4 billion to the Kansas economy. While I am concerned about the impact this freeze will have on the industry, I felt that overall, this legislation is a win for Kansas and the domestic production of energy from all resources."

The bill now goes to the House for a debate and vote.

Senator Roberts is an outspoken advocate of the need for a long term, comprehensive energy strategy for America. Senator Roberts is a cosponsor of the Gas Price Reduction Act. The bill would tap as much as fourteen billion barrels of oil along the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts- more than all U.S. imports from Persian Gulf countries over the last 15 years. The legislation would also open up three times the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia through western state oil shale exploration. The bill encourages alternative sources of energy including plug in electric vehicles through the development of better batteries to maximize electricity range and use less gas.