Article by Sara Sneath Originally published by DeSmog May 31, 2023
The latest vote was postponed after state senators considered shoring up the budget with a natural gas tax.
For the fifth time, a Louisiana lawmaker has introduced legislation to try to reduce the tax that fossil fuel firms pay on oil they produce in the state. The original version of the bill introduced by Rep. Phillip DeVillier this spring would have cost the state $97 million over the next five years, according to a Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office report.
“It’s just so much money,” said Rep. Mandie Landry, who voted against the bill in the House Committee on Ways and Means and again when it was before the full House.
While it is a fiscal session – meaning the focus is intended to primarily be on tax policy – legislators will consider many issues, including bills aimed at regulating or restricting carbon capture projects; strengthening air and water monitoring; and fostering development of an offshore wind industry.
AAE will be paying particular attention to a bill relating to utility securitization – SB51 would allow utilities to pass off decommissioning costs for coal-fired power plants to ratepayers as fees on monthly utility bills. These are costs that ratepayers have already borne at least once before, and this bill would let a few utilities off the hook for recent, poor investment decisions by raising power bills for all Louisianans.