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Matheson supports exploration incentives

Congressman Jim Matheson is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation targeted to increase domestic natural gas production from marginal and hard-to-reach sources.

The bill-HR 2899-would help decrease the United States dependence on foreign oil, result in a cleaner environment and reduce energy costs for consumers across the nation.

"This legislation is in line with my belief that we need a balanced energy policy-more supply, more efficiency, and more research and development into new technologies," said Matheson. "This measure is a tool for stabilizing natural gas supplies and prices and is one step to expanding our domestic energy supply."

The legislation-introduced by Congressman Dennis Moore of Kansas-would extend a tax credit in section 29 of the tax code that provides an added incentive for producers of unconventional fuels to continue production.

These fuels-such as coalbed methane, tight sands gas and gas produced from Devonian Shale-would not be economically recoverable for producers in most areas without this incentive.

According to a study by the Gas Technology Institute, passage of section 29 led to a tripling in the production of "non-conventional" gas. That same study suggests that extending the credit (to 2009) could again be effective in expanding gas supply, moderating prices and ultimately saving consumers billions of dollars.

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