WATCHING WASHINGTON COAL GAS'S TAX CREDIT

With Patrick Crow The U.S. oil industry intensely disliked the former "windfall profits" tax not just because it was a tax but because it was a counterproductive tax. However, one aspect of the tax lingers, and the oil industry isn't anxious to see it fade away. When Congress repealed the tax in 1988 it did not remove a section that permitted operators a nonconventional fuels tax credit, currently valued at about 87 cents/Mcf, for coal seam gas.

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