Attorney General Todd Rokita is calling on Congress to reject burdensome legislation that would increase fees on energy producers and hit American consumers, including those in Indiana, with price hikes on heating bills.
“Hoosiers are facing enough economic hardships as we work to put the pandemic behind us,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Now is the worst possible time for Congress to propose adding to our financial burdens. We deserve better leadership on Capitol Hill, and I’ll keep fighting to protect Hoosiers from those liberal tax-and-spenders.”
In a letter sent this month, he and 18 other attorneys general advised leaders of two U.S. Senate committees to oppose legislation that would charge oil and natural gas producers $1,500 to $1,800 per ton of methane emissions above certain thresholds.
“We would expect Congress to be focused on affordable energy solutions,” states the West Virginia-led letter. “Yet Congress is instead considering imposing additional fees on the oil and gas industry.”
In the Senate, the Methane Emissions Reduction Act proposes to charge oil and gas producers $1,800 per ton of methane emissions beginning in 2023. A similar provision in the House’s version of the Build Back Better Act proposes a $1,500 “fee” — really, a tax — for each ton of methane emissions.
The attorneys general cite data from industry experts showing that the more costly proposal could impose a cost of $14.4 billion and affect as many as 155,000 jobs.
Instead of imposing additional fees on oil and gas producers, the attorneys general call on the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works and Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to focus on affordable energy solutions.
The coalition’s letter argues that the Senate and House proposals could inspire more emissions-focused taxes, such as measures that would involve federal regulators extending the tax to other sectors and potentially a broader carbon tax.
For instance, the attorneys general specifically note that the Environmental Protection Agency could wrongly extend the proposed tax to agricultural operations, landfills and coal mining, all of which produce methane as well.