With the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year and concern growing about the impact on the economy, lawmakers are racing to pass tax legislation that might encompass some changes to federal incentives for the energy industry. In an effort to hone in on potential changes for the industry, Senate Finance Committee chair Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) mused that lawmakers should work to improve the wide array of tax incentives for the energy industry--everything from tax exemptions, to credits, and deductions--to promote efficiency and more diverse and secure supplies. The committee heard from a panel of energy and tax experts June 12. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney\u2019s energy adviser, Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources, warned lawmakers to exercise care. \u201cWe could stop this energy renaissance if we don\u2019t do the right thing,\u201d he said, citing the recent increase in domestic oil and natural gas production with new drilling techniques. Hamm urged Congress not to eliminate the ability of oil and gas developers to expense \u201cintangible drilling costs,\u201d as proposed by the Obama Administration. Industry advisor Don Nickles, chair of The Nickles Group and a former U.S. senator, characterized the proposal as \u201ccrazy,\u201d saying it could shut down a large portion of domestic oil and gas drilling operations. Dale Jorgenson, Samuel W. Morris professor, Harvard University, proposed levying a new federal energy tax to drive increased efficiency, plus more use of renewable energy and natural gas. Jorgenson proposed a tax that would be highest on coal--though he did not specify the amount. He recommended a 39 cents\/gallon tax for motor fuel and a lower, unspecified tax, on natural gas. He said this tax, coupled with current market forces, would propel new energy efficient and clean energy technologies.