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Friday, September 28, 2007

Westin on Energy and Environmental Tax Changes in Recent Tax Legislation

Richard A. Westin (Kentucky) has published Energy and Environmental Tax Changes in the Flood of Recent Federal Revenue Laws and What They Imply, 15 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 171 (2007). Here is the part of the Introduction:

As of this writing oil prices are well above $50 per barrel, global warming has become an increasing subject of discussion and the politics of the Middle East are disturbingly unstable. Due to the United States' dependence on Middle Eastern oil an oil cutoff could deeply imperil the US economy. The past two years have witnessed significant federal tax legislation, a good part of which is directed towards energy independence and the environment, without mentioning the dreaded words “global warming.” ...  At the heart of the legislation lie several themes: (1) the need for independence from foreign oil and gas sources; (2) a desire for more domestic production to meet the growing demand for oil and gas, and; (3) an interest in reducing pollution from hydrocarbon usage.

This article is an effort to size up the new legislation in light of these imperatives, and to try to determine what general direction Congress is moving in. ...The article is broken into major headings with a brief summary of each new law followed by a technical discussion, a statement of the estimated revenue gains or losses followed by a brief commentary. The technical discussion assumes a fairly advanced understanding of federal income taxation, but adds little to the policy implications of each of the changes in the tax law. ...

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