Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/26/1993 10:00 AM O&G

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  Number 336                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN GREEN advised that HB 80 which placed a limit on                    
  the amount of acreage a certain entity might hold, would be                  
  heard by the committee after receipt of a similar bill by                    
  the governor.                                                                
  CHAIRMAN GREEN talked about a bill currently in the House                    
  State Affairs Committee that, in effect, charged a nickel a                  
  barrel to build a fund, the 470 Fund, that would be useable                  
  in case of an oil spill disaster.  He was concerned that                     
  this bill had a tendency to want to have more things funded                  
  from that fund.  His personal view was that if the fund was                  
  justified to begin with then it should be accomplished and                   
  not be continually syphoned off.                                             
  Number 365                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG thought he had a major investigation                   
  going with regard to where all the money in the 470 Fund                     
  went, but found out that the Department of Environmental                     
  Conservation (DEC), published a book that said $47 million                   
  had been skimmed off and what was done with it.  If                          
  necessary, he hoped to submit legislation to cap that fund                   
  at $50 million and stop it from being a "DEC slush fund."                    
  Number 373                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN GREEN believed the committee would be very helpful                  
  in getting a cap on the 470 Fund.  He stated the book                        
  mentioned by Representative Olberg was an annual report                      
  published by the DEC.  He surmised the fund "runs $27 to $30                 
  million a year of income at a nickel a barrel and you think                  
  in a year and a half it would be full, but it has never got                  
  there.  In fact it is dangerously low, it is less than $20                   
  million."  He added, "something bad was going on."                           
  Number 387                                                                   
  CHIP THOMA, an active participant in the legislative process                 
  for about 22 years, gave an account of a McNeil Lehrer show                  
  in which Charles DiBona of the American Petroleum Institute,                 
  gave what he perceived as a very inappropriate view of the                   
  way the industry was going to take on the new                                
  MR. THOMA believed it was very evident from the comments                     
  from Secretary Benson of the Treasury and the comments that                  
  have been made by the new Clinton administration that there                  
  would be an energy tax.  He believed further that Mr.                        
  DiBona's reticence to even entertain the idea of a tax, in                   
  fact his unwillingness to consider such a tax, abounded ill                  
  for the industry.                                                            
  MR. THOMA surmised the administration had recognized that                    
  our industries, homes, cars, and our whole way of using                      
  petroleum based energy was totally inefficient and that we                   
  wasted 50% of the energy we burned.  Being in the insulation                 
  business, he noted almost every house in the United States                   
  was not properly insulated.                                                  
  MR. THOMA stated that as long as the petroleum industry                      
  continued their current way of making money and promoting                    
  inefficiency things were not going to work and there would                   
  be an energy tax on production, marketing, and consumers,                    
  which would raise $150 billion a year to bring down the                      
  deficit and be placed in environmental and conservation                      
  programs throughout the country.                                             
  MR. THOMA added that a nickel a barrel was an example of the                 
  type of tax that would be placed on the industry.  He agreed                 
  some of those monies had perhaps "gone out the door a little                 
  bit too fast," but urged the committee to consider the trend                 
  in the national administration.                                              
  Number 434                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN GREEN invited those in attendance to the next                       
  committee meeting on Thursday, January 28, 1993.                             
  CHAIRMAN GREEN then adjourned the meeting at 10:40 a.m.                      

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