Senators OK fees for all refineries that receive oil

06 04, 2013 by American Press

Senators on Monday approved legislation that requires all refineries to pay a fee for receiving oil, instead of the fees being paid mainly by refineries that receive oil from marine vessels.

Lawmakers voted 37-1 in favor of House Bill 636 by Rep. Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur. The bill includes amendments from the Senate Finance Committee and returns to the House for consideration.

The amended legislation calls for refineries to pay a half-cent per barrel of oil received, starting July 1, 2014. The fee would be
reduced to a quarter-cent per barrel by January 2016.

The fees go into the Oil Spill Contingency Fund that helps respond to oil spills within the state. The current fee charged is 2 cents per barrel of oil transported by a marine vessel. Danahay said Phillips 66 in Westlake and Citgo in Lake Charles pay the bulk of those fees.

Refineries would pay the half-cent rate if the Oil Spill Contingency Fee dips below $5 million and more than 100,000 gallons of oil is spilled within the past calendar year.

Danahay said he expects no opposition from House lawmakers, and that the current legislation was the result of plenty of negotiation and compromise.

“It is probably one of the most labor intensive bills I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “We finally got it to a point where everybody is comfortable with it.”

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans cast the lone no vote.