April 21, 2005 01:53 PM | | Bookmark and Share

The energy bill being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives this week would create a host of expensive new corporate tax breaks, mostly targeted toward the oil and gas industry. The bill, H.R. 6, has been estimated to cuts taxes by over $8 billion over the next ten years. Specifically:

The bill provides special accelerated depreciation rules allowing certain natural gas and electricity properties to be written off even faster than other capital investments, which are already allowed to be written off considerably faster than the assets actually wear out. For example, the bill would allow natural gas distribution pipelines to be completely depreciated over 15 years—far less than the actual useful life of such pipelines. Ten-year cost: $3.1 billion.

The bill also allows “geological and geophysical” costs associated with oil exploration to be written off faster. Ten-year cost: $1 billion.

A much smaller part of the bill’s overall cost would encourage alternative energy policies such as energy-efficient home improvements and solar energy. Ten-year cost: $500 million.

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