This week the Senate is traveling back in time to debate Jimmy Carter’s favorite solution to the energy crisis: an oil windfall profits tax. According to the Congressional Research Service, Carter’s oil windfall profits tax failed to raise revenues, decreased domestic oil production, and increased American dependence on foreign oil. As Heritage senior analyst Ben Lieberman points out, their is a stark contrast between the liberal sponsored Consumer First Energy Act moving to the Senate floor and the conservative sponsored American Energy Production Act:
We need fewer restrictions on domestic oil drilling. America remains the only oil-producing nation that has placed a substantial amount of its energy potential off-limits. This includes a few thousand acres of Alaska’s 19.6 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This small portion of ANWR is believed to contain 10 billion barrels of oil—an amount equivalent to 15 years of imports from Saudi Arabia.Even more oil is located in other restricted areas throughout the United States, and even more still in the 85 percent of America’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that is off-limits.
The American Energy Production Act and Affordable Fuel for Consumers Act allow for leasing of ANWR. This would bring more domestic oil online several years from now, and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues. These bills would also allow leasing in most of the OCS, provided the relevant state governor approves. Each participating state would get a share of the leasing revenues generated by energy production. This would provide more oil and more natural gas, which is also badly needed.
The Consumer-First Energy Act contains no such provisions. In effect, it is an energy bill without any energy in it.