The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Senate to Focus on DOI's Budget

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 2, 2010

Tomorrow Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will defend his agency's proposed 2011 budget before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Salazar calls it a "tough choices budget" requesting about $12 billion for the Interior Department (DOI), which is a slight decrease from 2010. (Environment & Energy Daily)

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Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) says the DOI budget does "a fine job of prioritizing the projects," and includes provisions including "boosting funding to acquire land for conservation, promoting renewable energy projects and expanding climate change research..."

But not everyone agrees with Sen. Bingaman's assessment.

In fact, the administration's budget could be a bitter pill for American citizens who are struggling to make ends meet. If approved, it would raise U.S. oil and natural gas production costs and increase the industry's tax burden by about $80 billion. As we've said repeatedly on this blog, raising costs tends to discourage investment.

Conversely, if the new taxes and fees are not imposed--and if the nation adopts a sensible energy policy that opens more off-limit, energy-rich areas to energy exploration and production--thousands of jobs could be created, more government revenue could be generated for essential services, less money could be sent abroad to purchase oil, and the United States could increase its energy security.

Today and tomorrow, CEOs from several independent oil and natural gas companies are meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill, explaining the impact of policy decisions on their companies and the financial well being of American consumers.

Let's hope the lawmakers listen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.