The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Penalizing the Oil Industry Hurts Jobs, Economy

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 28, 2010

Rather than deal with the Gulf oil spill in a reasoned fashion, the administration and some in Congress have put forth a barrage of political proposals that could jeopardize jobs and domestic energy production, and deal heavy blows to the economy overall.

Seemingly aimed at preventing a similar accident, these proposals--a six-month moratorium, unlimited liability and tax increases--will do nothing to promote offshore drilling safety. Instead, they could threaten hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs, cost billions in government revenue and royalties, and limit a major part of the nation's energy lifeline.

When asked recently about the most important issue for the federal government to address, people emphatically responded, "jobs" and "the economy." So why are policymakers ignoring what people want?

As I mentioned in an op-ed this week, most Americans understand that this industry--with its focus on the spill, safe operations, job creation and economic recovery--is not our economy's enemy. They know that energy development is a primary driver of job creation. That's why voters in 10 key states oppose higher taxes on America's oil and natural gas industry by a 2-to-1 margin.

Safety improvements are possible without risking jobs. Working together, the industry and government are making progress toward establishing a safer offshore operating environment. But with 15 million people out of work, proposals in Washington should protect taxpayers and advance our country's energy and economic interests, not penalize the oil and natural gas industry.

We must let common sense prevail over short-sighted efforts to use the spill as an excuse to punish oil and natural gas companies--and ultimately hard-working Americans. We are doing our part. And we urge our leaders in Washington to as well.

Editors note: Jack Gerard sent this message yesterday to individuals signed up to receive Energy Tomorrow e-mail communications. Click here to sign up for Energy Tomorrow updates and stay informed about important energy issues.

For more information, watch Jack Gerard in the video below explains how bills introduced in response to the Deepwater Horizon incident could harm U.S. job creation, economic growth, and energy security.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.