As President of the Southeastern Utah Energy Providers Association (SEUEPA), I have followed the recent energy bill with interest, as have many of our members.
We were concerned about the provision mandating that utilities produce 15 percent of their power using renewable sources within just a few years. This appeared to us to be "anti-coal" as well as unrealistic and costly. It could have been very damaging to our coal industry here in Carbon and Emery counties.
We were also very concerned over a $21 billion tax package passed by the House of Representatives to be loaded onto the U.S. gas and oil producers. This does not appear to us to be a prudent time to add an additional tax burden on the domestic energy industry, and we were surprised and disappointed that Senator Hatch joined the Democratic majority in supporting those provisions.
Senator Bennett's constituents should know that his vote was crucial in removing these unwise provisions and in moving a more realistic energy policy on to final passage and signature. Congratulations to Senator Bennett on holding firm against excessive taxes and government mandates.
As we all know, energy production here in Eastern Utah is a growing and important part of our economy. We need the jobs and economic development, and our nation needs a robust domestic energy industry to meet future needs and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
As an association, we encourage Senator Bennett to continue his good work in supporting our ongoing development, job creation and prosperity.