Tax moratorium for natural gas?

Lawmakers are thinking about it:

The temporary moratorium for the heating season would echo action the legislature took during a special session in September, when lawmakers removed the sales tax on motor fuels for nearly a month in response to price increases following Hurricane Katrina.
“There’s a lot of talk by members … to bring some relief, particularly if these prices triple,’’ said House Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter, R-Alpharetta, co-chairman of a legislative study committee looking for ways to dampen expected increases in natural gas bills this winter.

Another proposal will hopefully get serious consideration:

On Monday, Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, suggested that the General Assembly support opening up the Outer Continental Shelf off the Georgia coast to drilling for natural gas.

A federal moratorium on drilling off the east coast has been in effect since the 1980s.
But Geisinger, chairman of an advisory committee made up primarily of industry representatives, said an amendment to the energy bill passed by Congress last summer calling for offshore exploration for gas failed in the Senate by just one vote.

“We are a consumer state, not a producer state,’’ he said. “This would make us a producing state and put us in a self-sufficient position.’’

Geisinger said technology has improved in the last two decades to the point that drilling for natural gas is no longer a threat to the environment.

Bravo Rep. Geisinger.

3 comments

  1. Natural gas is a global market. The idea that producing it “here in Georgia” will somehow affect our prices is not in line with how global market economics work.

    A decision like this should be judged on actual merits — Georgia gas prices will not go down if we drill in Georgia. So who benefits? The gas companies or the citizens of the state. Seeing as who is mostly on this panel, I am guessing it is not the citizens, who currently have one of the most unspoiled and beautiful coastlines in the entire state at their “disposal”.

  2. buzzbrockway says:

    It is possible to drill for natural gas and not destroy the environment. It’s not an either/or situation. Also, if you increase supply, the price will go down. Why shouldn’t we drill for natural gas in Georgia? It will bring more jobs to Georgia and benefit us all.

  3. Bill Simon says:

    You know, I have a better idea than all of these “tax moratoriums.”

    How about we have a “price moratorium” on everything? Like, I’ll pay the government taxes on fees on what the cost of the Therm would be, but, we get the Therm for free for a period of time. How about that?

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