Beyond ANWR

There's more to US energy policy than drilling in Alaska or expanding fuel ethanol production. But both topics have largely overshadowed the public's interest in other industry issues as the US Congress considers the most sweeping energy reform bill in a decade.

The Senate debate has stretched on for months, and no one seems quite sure when or if final legislation can be salvaged before lawmakers go home to campaign for the November elections this fall.

Given that it is an election year, industry lobbyists say legislation to expand fuel ethanol production under the guise of updating clean fuel rules is likely to pass, with or without comprehensive energy legislation. If lawmakers cannot reach consensus on that bill, the clean fuel provision now in the Senate energy bill tripling ethanol fuel use within 10 years is still expected to win approval. The ethanol mandate may be stand-alone legislation, a "rider" onto the pending farm bill, or an add-on to a spending bill that funds the annual federal budget.

Superfund, taxes

Looking beyond debates over leasing on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain and farm-belt politics, Superfund taxes are soon expected to be a legislative battleground for industry. Senate Democratic leaders want to reinstate a tax that expired in 1995 that paid for federal cleanups of toxic waste sites. The Superfund trust fund is running out of money, and attempts to reimpose the tax in the late 1990s were quashed by Congress. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the fund will dwindle to $28 million by Sept. 30, 2003.

Oil companies say they don't want to be stuck with the bill again. According to the American Petroleum Institute, during 1982-96, 74% of the program's funding came from taxes on selected industries. The petroleum industry contributed 57% of those tax revenues, yet its estimated share of the potential liability for cleaning up Superfund sites is less than 10%, API said.

General revenues, rather than industry taxes, should pay for the program's administrative costs and the clean-up of sites where the responsible party or parties cannot be found, according to API: "Funds generated by industry-specific taxes should not be used for these purposes. Reinstating industry-specific taxes is not consistent with congressional intent for the program-that is, whenever possible, polluters should pay for the costs of cleaning up the releases for which they are found."

House action

Over in the House, Democrats also are on the move.

On Mar. 23, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced legislation, HR 4060, which renews Superfund taxes for 5 years.

Other industry trade groups, including the Petroleum Marketers Association of America and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, say House Democrats plan to use the legislation as a way to leverage more spending for Superfund during the 2003 fiscal year.

Pallone's legislation also calls for a 5-year renewal of funding for EPA's Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust (LUST) Fund. The LUST Fund tax is due to begin phasing out in 2008.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

Quicksilver Canada gets LNG export approval

07/02/2015 Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. has received approval from the National Energy Board of Canada to export 20 million tonnes/year of LNG from a pos...

Origin lets contract for Otway basin fields

07/02/2015 Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has let a $1.3 million (Aus.) contract to Wood Group Kenny for provision of a detailed engineering design for the onsho...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

SIBUR plans MTBE expansion at Togliattikauchuk

07/01/2015 Russian conglomerate OAO SIBUR Holding, Moscow, has started preparatory work for a project designed to expand production capacity for methyl tertia...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected