Domestic Energy Industry Tax Incentives Put on Hold

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - Tax incentives to strengthen the domestic energy industry and ease a growing dependence on oil imports apparently will have to wait until next year, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen said.

Although President Bush had asked Congress in February to support four tax incentives aimed at stimulating the domestic oil and gas industry, Bentsen said passage this year is not likely because there hasn't been enough real progress in cutting the budget deficit.

``But I'm hoping that in the following fiscal year that we can work with the president in making very meaningful cuts in that budget and putting some tax incentives in there to encourage domestic production,'' said Bentsen, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Bush's proposals would have cost more than $300 million, but less than $400 million, in fiscal 1990.

Although Bentsen, D-Texas, said an oil import fee would be one of the more ``realistic'' ways of cutting dependence on foreign oil, opposition in Congress and from the president has taken such a levy out of consideration.

``So that probably can't be brought about,'' Bentsen said, ``much as I'd like to see it, because it'd give us some stability in the oil industry and stop some of the great swings that you have that give the bankers a nervous stomach . …