Nickles, Watkins Introduce Energy Industry Legislation / Import Fee, Windfall Profits

Article excerpt

Legislation involving the energy industry has been introduced by Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., and Rep. Wes Watkins, D-Okla.

The bills introduced separately by Nickles and Watkins would impose a fee on imported oil and repeal the windfall profits tax.

Nickles' bill sets a floor on the import fee at $20 a barrel while Watkins' proposal calls for a variable fee of $22 with proceeds going to reduce the federal budget deficit.

Nickles and Watkins said the import fee would help curb American dependence on Middle East oil and would help domestic producers.

Also, Nickles was one of 11 co-sponsors of a bill to allow states to increase the speed limit on all rural highways to 65 mph.

An amendment last year by Western and rural congressmen to increase the speed limit to 65 mph lost by only 20 votes in the House, and speed limit critics are eager for a new shot at the law, which they claim is hugely unpopular on the roadways of America.

"We're trying to decide strategy," said Steve Patterson, an aide to Rep. Dave McCurdy, D-Okla., who sponsored the failed 65 mph speed limit amendment.

In addition, Rep. Mickey Edwards, R-Oklahoma, says there are problems with the way Congress works and he introduced legislation Wednesday to require recorded votes in the U.S. House of Representatives on any bill that would generate revenue or appropriate funds. …


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