06.23.20

Cassidy, Cornyn, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Help Protect U.S. Energy Jobs

Bill would target relief to domestic energy companies during pandemic, lower oil prices

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) is an original cosponsor of a bill introduced today by John Cornyn (R-TX) to provide relief to America’s energy industry during the coronavirus pandemic.  The SAVE Jobs Act aims to promote liquidity and flexibility for domestic energy companies so that they may maintain their workforce through the pandemic’s economic downturn.  Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) are original cosponsors.

“The energy sector is struggling because of this pandemic,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Thousands of Louisianans rely on those good-paying jobs to provide for their families. The SAVE Jobs Act offers targeted relief to an industry that needs support to prevent a full collapse.”

“Throughout this pandemic, the Senate has been working to deliver targeted relief to Americans who need it most, and there’s no doubt many in the energy industry have been hanging by a thread,” said Cornyn.  “These reforms will allow Texas’ job creators to weather this downturn, continue paying their workers, and invest in their infrastructure for years to come.”   

The SAVE Jobs Act:

  • Allows more carbon capture projects to break ground by extending the commence construction window for the 45Q tax credit by one-year.
  • Allows energy companies to build liquidity by:
    • suspending certain capitalization rules, allowing taxpayers to immediately expense certain direct and indirect costs, such as inventory, that would otherwise be required to be capitalized in 2020. 
    • reducing the required deposit of certain motor fuel excise taxes paid every two weeks by taxpayers from 95% to 25%, without reducing the total tax liability these companies owe the government.
    • allowing taxpayers to expense 100% of the cost of intangible drilling costs in 2020.
  • Provides immediate relief to those with leases on federal lands and waters by:
    • Streamlining existing authority to grant lease extensions, suspensions of production, and suspensions of operations during the pandemic.
    • Simplifying the existing process for royalty rate reductions to provide more timely relief during the pandemic.
    • Delaying the deadline for recalculation of royalty payments under the 2016 ONRR Valuation Rule until July 1, 2022.

“By providing administrative clarity and regulatory relief, the SAVE Jobs Act would help protect energy businesses and workers who are vital to our national and economic security but have been significantly hamstrung by the shutdowns caused by COVID-19,” said Cramer. “The bill would also extend the 45Q carbon capture tax credit, ensuring current and future carbon capture projects can keep moving forward. We should include this legislation if we take up an additional relief package.” 

“The oil and gas industry is critical to the Alaska economy, supports 10 million American jobs, and can help power our country’s recovery,” said Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “As the industry reels from the pandemic-induced drop in demand, this bill will help provide needed short-term stability so it is well-positioned to propel our national comeback.”

“Right now, oil and gas is hurting in Oklahoma and, in a state where one in five jobs is tied to the energy industry, we need to be there for our producers,” said Inhofe. “I’m proud to cosponsor this bill that will give energy companies the flexibility they need to make sure their employees get paid and their lights stay on. Our domestic production capacity is key to maintaining our energy dominance.”  

“The tax and regulatory relief in this bill would help position domestic energy producers to overcome unfavorable market forces and challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Hyde-Smith said. “Our economy and national security require reliable and affordable energy, and Congress should adopt policies to protect these American assets.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted our domestic energy industry, and we cannot allow our nation to once again be dependent on foreign energy sources to survive,” said Lankford. “After working so hard to break free of dependence, we should not allow our nation to lose our domestic energy production. Enacting temporary, targeted assistance like the provisions in the SAVE Jobs Act will help protect our North American energy independence by supporting the many Americans who work hard to bring us energy day in and day out.”

 “Energy production was a driver of economic growth and job creation in West Virginia before the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” Capito said. “This bill will support our energy sector through this tumultuous period so workers can get paid and support their families. I’m particularly pleased to include the extension of the 45Q tax credit, which lays the groundwork for future projects that are good for both the economy and the environment.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on Americans’ everyday lives, which has resulted in dramatic swings in demand for oil, gas, and other forms of energy,” Wicker said. “The SAVE Jobs Act would make targeted short-term adjustments to help ensure the long-term health of this critical industry.” 

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