Jan. 25—They haven't yet taken effect, but Congressman August Pfluger wants to ensure methane fees included in the Inflation Reduction Act signed last year never come to pass.
The Republican, who represents Texas' District 11, which includes much of the Permian Basin, has introduced HR 484, The Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act to strike down the fee in what he called the 'Inflation 'Expansion' Act.' He said new fees on taxes on energy companies will raise costs for customers, creating a burden that will fall most heavily on lower-income Americans.
"President Biden's promise to end fossil fuels — and ensuing actions to cripple the American energy industry — are hurting American families. I am proud to stand up for the Permian Basin by introducing legislation to strike the President's new harmful natural gas tax that will drive up the cost of household energy bills and make inflation even worse," Pfluger said in a statement.
His legislation has the support of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) Life:Powered project.
Ben Shepperd, PBPA president, said in a statement, "Congressman Pfluger continues to fight for the American people, the American economy and American energy security. Worldwide demand for natural gas continues to grow and the American people, our economy and even the world's environment, are better off when domestic natural gas production is supported by those in Washington, D.C. This Act does just that."
Added Jason Isaac, director of Life:Powered at TPPF, "Life:Powered applauds Rep. Pfluger on his efforts to repeal the methane tax created by the Inflation Reduction Act. 32% of Americans have paid a utility bill late in the past six months and imposing a methane tax couldn't happen at a worse time. Repealing this burdensome home heating and stovetop cooking tax will prevent another unnecessary cost from being imposed on Americans struggling to make ends meet."
Under the legislation signed into law last August, the methane fee would be applied to petroleum and natural gas facilities already subject to greenhouse gas emission reporting under Environmental Protection Agency reporting regulations. It would apply to applicable facilities — including onshore petroleum and gas production, gathering and boosting, natural gas processing, transmission compression and transmission pipelines. It would be applied to those facilities reporting more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. The act requires the EPA revise its Subpart W reporting regulation within two years to ensure reported emissions are based on empirical data and accurately reflect the total methane emissions and waste emissions. Fees begin at $900 per metric ton beginning in 2024 and rising to $1,500 at the beginning of 2026.
Enverus Intelligence Research, part of the energy-focused Software as a Service firm Enverus, said in a report earlier this month any impact of the fee is expected to be minimal to the industry as most oil and natural gas operators will get below the threshold before the 2025 implementation date, based on 2024 data.
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