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Public Statements

American Jobs And Closing Tax Loopholes Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I voted for the Sanders amendment on tax incentives for oil and natural gas production to H.R. 4213, the Tax Extenders Act.

Pennsylvania is in the midst of a historic boom in natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale formation. This industry is on track to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Commonwealth, and billions of dollars in revenue, both of which are badly needed in my home State. But the development of one natural resource must proceed with the utmost care for two others: water and land. I know that the natural gas industry desires to maintain the tax incentives which would be removed by the Sanders amendment. President Obama has also proposed removing these tax incentives in his fiscal year 2011 budget proposal. However, I cannot support further incentives for natural gas until that industry agrees to full public disclosure of the chemical composition of its hydraulic fracturing fluids, which are used to break apart the shale deep underground and initiate the gas flow. There is placeholder language to this effect in the discussion draft of the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act, and I hope that natural gas companies large and small will support these provisions as the bill, or another energy bill, moves forward into law. There are many issues that the natural gas industry must cooperate with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on, including hydraulic fracturing disclosure, wastewater recycling, responsible well development, and a severance tax. My support for incentives for natural gas will remain contingent on that industry demonstrating its commitment to developing the Marcellus Shale in a manner that all Pennsylvanians will look back on, generations from now, with pride.

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Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I voted against the Vitter amendment on the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to H.R. 4213, the Tax Extenders Act, because no matter what the size of the trust fund, the party responsible for an oil spill must pay all costs of its cleanup, and is also responsible for economic damages caused by the spill. This amendment will not reduce in any way the available resources for combating the spill in the gulf, or any other future spill. The moneys in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund may be used to advance cleanup costs but that does not relieve British Petroleum as the primarily liable party for paying the full costs of the gulf spill cleanup which will reimburse the trust fund for any funds expended.

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