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Energy and Environmental Tax Changes in the Flood of Recent Federal Revenue Laws and What They Imply

June 2007

Citation: 37 ELR 10431

Issue: 6

Author: Richard A. Westin

Editor's Summary: In the United States, the need for independence from foreign oil and gas sources, a desire for more domestic production to meet the growing demand for oil and gas, and an interest in reducing pollution from hydrocarbon usage has influenced many recent developments in federal tax legislation. In this Article, Richard A. Westin summarizes this recent legislation in an attempt to discover what direction Congress seems to be moving with regard to energy and the environment. He describes legislation affecting a number of relevant industries, provides information on predicted revenue effects, and offers brief commentary on each development. s of this writing, oil prices are well above $60 per barrel, discussion of climate change is increasing, and Middle East politics are disturbingly unstable. Yet the United States depends on Middle Eastern oil, and an oil cutoff could deeply imperil the U.S. economy. The past two years have witnessed significant federal tax legislation, a good part of which is directed towards energy independence and the environment. The first piece of major legislation is the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, and the second is the Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005 (2005 Energy Tax Act). The third is the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (referred to as the 2005 Transportation Act). The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, and the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 amended the foregoing Acts in modest ways.

Richard A. Westin is Professor of Law at University of Kentucky Law School. [Editors' Note: This Article will appear in Richard A. Westin, Energy and Environmental Tax Changes in the Flood of Recent Federal Revenue Laws and What They Imply, 15 Penn State Envtl. L. Rev. 171 (2007).]

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