ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005--CONFERENCE REPORT -- (Senate - July 29, 2005)
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CLARIFICATIONS RELATING TO THE SECTION 29(C )(1)(C)
Mr. SANTORUM. Mr. President, I wish to confinn that certain language in the Conference Report to the Energy bill, with respect to the Internal Revenue Service stopping the issuance of private letter rulings and other taxpayer-specific guidance regarding the section 29 credit, actually refers to a solid fuel produced from coal and ``coal waste sludge,'' a waste product composed of tar decanter sludge and other byproducts of the coking process. This fuel is commonly referred to as ``steel industry fuel'' because it is a superior feedstock for the production of coke that is used by the domestic steel industry. Steel industry fuel provides significant energy benefits by recapturing the energy content of the coal waste sludge and significant environmental benefits because the Environmental Protection Agency classifies coal waste sludge as a hazardous waste unless it is processed with coal into a solid fuel product. The conference report expresses the conferees' understanding and belief that the Internal Revenue Service should consider issuing such rulings and guidance on an expedited basis to those taxpayers who had pending ruling requests at the time the moratorium was implemented. I would like to confirm the understanding and belief of the conferees that this language in the conference report actually refers to steel industry fuel and the requests for private letter rulings that the producers of steel industry fuel submitted in Fall 2000.
Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, Yes, the distinguished Senator is correct. The conferees understand that there are requests for private letter rulings with respect to the process the Senator from Pennsylvania has described. Moreover, these requests were submitted in Fall 2000. The conferees expect that the Internal Revenue Service would consider issuing these rulings immediately, with due diligence, and without delay.
Mr. SANTORUM. I would also like to ask the distinguished Chairman of the Committee on Finance to confirm that steel industry fuel is a ``qualified fuel'' that is eligible for the section 29 nonconventional fuel tax credit through 2007 when one, the production facility was placed in service after 1992 and before July 1, 1998, pursuant to a binding written contract--including a supply or service contract for the processing of coal waste sludge--and, two, the steel industry fuel is sold to an unrelated party.
Mr. GRASSLEY. The Senator from Pennsylvania raises an important and time-sensitive question. When we considered the section 29 changes, the conferees were aware of the process described by the Senator. As the senior conferee for the Committee on Finance, I urge the Internal Revenue Service to consider that process as a qualified fuel that is eligible for the section 29 credit under such circumstances.
Mr. SANTORIUM. I thank the distinguished chairman for these clarifications.