Proposed Conference Report on Energy Legislation Finally Emerges

Almost four months after Senate passage and more than seven months after House passage of energy legislation, a proposed conference report on the Energy Tax Policy Act of 2003 finally emerged from conference negotiations on November 17, 2003. It required the active involvement of the Vice President just to bring the House and Senate Republican conferees together. The Democrats were largely left out of the negotiations, especially on the larger energy bill of which the tax provisions are just a part. Amendments were still being proposed in conference to fine tune the final product. The legislation includes tax credits and incentives for alternative vehicles and fuels; tax credits, a deduction, and depreciation incentives for incorporation of energy efficient devices and techniques in homes and businesses; tax incentives to improve the reliability of the gas and electrical transmission systems; clean coal incentives; oil and gas production incentives; provisions to offset the impact of the alternative minimum tax on the proposed changes; and a variety of miscellaneous provisions. The total ten-year cost of the tax provisions is estimated at around $18 billion. Conferees hope to complete their work and send the legislation to the House and Senate floors for a vote this week. The vote in the Senate could be very close.


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