Boren to Battle Tax Reform Bill Unless Oil Deductions Included; /Coalittion to Bar Amendments

By L. D. Barney | THE JOURNAL RECORD, May 23, 1986 | Go to article overview

Boren to Battle Tax Reform Bill Unless Oil Deductions Included; /Coalittion to Bar Amendments


L. D. Barney, THE JOURNAL RECORD


U.S. Sen. David Boren, D-Okla., and a coalition of other energy-state senators will oppose tax reform unless it inclu des certain deductions for oil and gas costs, Boren told a group of petroleum engineers Thursday in Oklahoma City.

Before returning to Oklahoma for the address, Boren met with Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., to map-out a strategy to save those deductions, included only after a hard-fought battlein the Senate Finance Committee, he said.

A coalition is also being "worked out" that would bar major amendments to the tax reform bill, Boren said. It has been reported that the coalition includes President Reagan and a majority of the committee members.

Debate will begin on the tax reform bill June 4 and last at least two weeks, Boren said. Then, he and a group of 17 other senators from oil and gas producing states will attempt to "fast track" andemergency package of oil and gas legislation.

Boren expects Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., to introduce an amendment to the tax bill that would prevent investors from deducting "dryhole" costs unless they have other oil and gas income - a move theOklahoma senator says would "kill outside investment" in oil and gas wells.

A move to "knock out" immediate expensing of intangible drilling costs is also expected from another coalition of senators including Bradley, Daniel Moynihan, D-N.Y., Bob Packwood, R-Ore., George Mitchell, D-Maine, John Danforth, R-Mo. and John Chaffee,R-R.I.

Those six are the "ringleaders" who put the present tax bill together during a weekend, Boren told the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The bill then "moved like a freight train" through Packwood's finance committe, Boren said. Depletion allowance, deductions for intangible drilling costs and "actual out-of-pocket economic losses" were salvaged in a "shaky" 11-9 vote of the committee.

"But we face a battle to keep it on the floor. We're gearing up for the fight on floor," Boren said, adding that he is prepared "to resort to what I'd call guerilla warfare" to protect the oil and gas interests.

"There are a lot of good things in this bill," he said, "but if we're unsuccessful (in keeping the deductions), we'll have to regroup and prevent the bill from becoming law even though I like some of its provisions.

"This is a fight over the structure of the oil and gas industry. …

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