House of Representatives Passes CLEAN Act, First Step in Ending Subsidies to Big Oil

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In what some Democratic members of Congress are calling a first step towards a larger change in energy policy, the House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN) Act (H.R. 6).

The legislation only repeals two of the tax subsidies directed at oil and gas companies that CTJ has criticized. One is the domestic manufacturing tax deduction, which is available for oil and gas companies only because a provision of the 2004 tax cut bill redefined manufactured goods to include oil and gas. The White House has argued that it would be unfair for manufacturing companies, but not energy companies, to take advantage of this tax subsidy

The other is the five-year amortization of geological and geophysical expenditures (the faster write-off of the cost of exploring for oil and gas, in other words), which would be changed to a seven year amortization.

Other provisions would close loopholes that have allowed companies drilling on public lands to avoid paying royalties. Around $14 billion of savings would be reallocated towards the development of alternative energy sources.

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