Washington, DC—Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted for H.R. 6, The CLEAN Energy Act, which will repeal Big Oil subsidies and invest in renewable energy. The bill passed the House by a vote of 264 to 163.
In December 2005, Higgins introduced H.R. 4479, the Energy Consumer Relief Act of 2005 which would repeal the billions in oil and gas subsidies given out in the Energy Policy Act that Congress passed in 2005. Oil and Gas companies testified before Congress that they do not need these handouts.
“We have finally passed legislation which puts an end to the subsidies given to Big Oil companies,” said Higgins. “Because oil companies are raking in record profits, they do not need subsidies to keep producing in the U.S. Additionally, they have no incentive to invest in research on renewable energy and energy efficient technologies which will improve our national security, end our reliance on foreign oil, cleanup our environment, and put Americans to work. Last year, the big five oil companies made $97 billion, while Western New Yorkers paid well over $3 per gallon at the pump. Democrats are committed to a new direction—a long-term approach to reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
H.R. 6, the sixth piece of the new Democratic Majority’s 100 Hour Agenda, will repeal $14 billion in subsidies given to Big Oil companies that have raked in record profits over 10 years and will invest those funds in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. The measure will ensure that oil companies that were awarded the 1998 and 1999 leases for drilling pay their fair share in royalties so that American consumers do not have to pay twice for their gas – once at the pump and again through their taxes. It will also close loopholes and end giveaways for Big Oil in the tax code and in the 2005 Energy bill. Finally, the bill will create a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve to invest in clean, renewable energy resources and alternative fuels, promote new energy technologies, develop greater efficiency and improve energy conservation.