Report: Large Energy Cuts Can Help Avoid Sequestration
by Zack Coleman (The Hill E2Wire) A spending watchdog group said Monday that Congress could cut $123.2 billion from energy programs over 10 years in an effort to avoid automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration.
Taxpayers for Common Sense identified the energy reductions as part of a broader $2-trillion spending cut it said could be an alternative to sequestration.
The oil-and-gas industry would endure the largest decreases under the group’s recommendations, with coal, nuclear energy, biofuels and biomass and research and development also taking hits.
…The group wants to eliminate various preferential tax provisions for the oil-and-gas industry, including a manufacturing tax deduction that could yield $17.2 billion in additional revenue over 10 years.
Senate Democrats, urged by President Obama, tried to kill that incentive and others in a bill that would have terminated several tax breaks for the oil-and-gas industry. That bill failed in March by a 51-47 vote, as it needed 60 to advance.
“There are a couple of basic truths about oil and gas companies today: they are highly profitable, heavily subsidized, and well‐connected in Washington,” the group said in its report. “While this scenario makes for a very lucrative business model, it continues to needlessly cost taxpayers billions.”
…Taxpayers for Common Sense also put tax credits for biodiesel on the chopping block, which it estimated would retain $16.2 billion in revenues over 10 years.
Those credits, which are included in a Senate Finance Committee-approved$205 billion tax extenders package, give $1.01 per gallon for cellulosic biofuel production and $1 per gallon for biodiesel production. READ MORE