Tax bill boosts oil, gas drilling and renewable energy

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A tax bill moving forward in Congress would boost traditional forms of energy such as oil and gas while supporting renewable energy such as wind and solar power. It also would extend a hand to buyers of electric cars.

"I’m one that says we should move the transportation fleet off of oil," Alaska's Senior Senator Lisa Murkowski said during a meeting with members of the media Friday.

"I think we’re seeing a very encouraging development in the number of EVs [electric vehicles] and the numbers of what we’re seeing on the transportation side," Murkowski said.

Oil demands are expected to be up by 2040, according to the Senator, who also added she feels there will be a variety of other ways to use the resource.

The bill extends a tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchases of plug-in electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. "I’ve been very very encouraging in what we’re doing in the energy committee to help advance that," the Senator said about making a push to move in a different direction with transportation fuels.

In November, the city and borough of Juneau posted an ordinance online for consideration. It would require electric vehicle owners to obtain a permit if they plan to use city-owned charging stations.

An agreement by House and Senate negotiators would also open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, while preserving tax credits for wind power and other clean energy. Opening the remote Arctic refuge to oil and gas drilling is a longtime Republican priority that most Democrats fiercely oppose. The 19.6-million-acre refuge is home to polar bears, caribou and other wildlife.

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