natural gas act

Post image for Fight Over Natural Gas Heats Up

There is a highly controversial natural gas bill floating around the House of Representatives, with over 180 cosponsors, written about here (also here and here).

The Daily Caller’s Chris Moody summarizes the debate:

The measure has 180 bipartisan co-sponsors, including many of the chamber’s most conservative Republican members. But some are crying foul over the special treatment that the government would be providing to the natural gas industry, arguing that it is not Washington’s role to “choose winners and losers” by offering tax credits to promote one energy industry over another. The bill’s proponents, however, say promoting natural gas — a plentiful resource in the United States — will help wean the country off foreign oil, provide resources to alternative energy sources and increase the nation’s energy security.

A coalition of nearly two dozen free-market and conservative groups sent a letter to members of Congress in March urging them to avoid new subsidies and tax credits, and they plan to blast anyone — especially Republicans — who do.

The divide is so deep in fact, that it has even split the libertarian advocacy group Campaign For Liberty, a co-signer of the March letter, with its founder, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, who is co-sponsoring the tax credit bill. Paul discussed his support for tax credits during a recent interview with MSNBC, arguing that they are not subsidies, as his critics would call them, but rather another form of tax reductions.