American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard predicted today that energy legislation, including an oil spill response bill and a stripped-down energy bill, will likely not be considered until after the mid-term elections in a lame duck session in the Senate. Even then, he said, “It will be difficult to get anything done between now and the end of the year.” Gerard’s assessment falls in line with what I’ve been told be Senate sources and even some environmentalists. For more on what to expect from the Senate this year, see this post.
Gerard also criticized an amendment to the small business bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that would exclude much of the industry from a key manufacturing tax deduction. The amendment is slated to come up for consideration later today. According to Gerard, passage of the amendment would “put some $127 billion in energy development investments at risk between 2011-2020.” Gerard said that such a reduction in investment would threaten thousands of jobs. API sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the issue late last week.