Tax Energy or Produce More?

During the past two weeks, while gasoline prices continued to climb, lawmakers were getting an earful from their constituents.  Now, those lawmakers are back in Washington and they are looking to take action.

Not surprisingly, there are two very different approaches.

Later this week, the Republican-controlled House will take up a bill to accelerate domestic energy production.  The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R.1230) would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct numerous offshore oil and natural gas lease sales that the current administration has either slow-walked or ground to a halt.

In the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled a bill that would increase taxes on domestic oil and gas production.  According to a March 2011 report authored by the Congressional Research Service, such increases “may have the effect of decreasing exploration, development, and production, while increasing prices and increasing the nation’s foreign oil dependence.”

Which path would you chose?

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