The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Increased Taxes Mean Fewer Jobs

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 9, 2010

Across the country, American workers are concerned about their jobs, and many are worried about what impact new oil industry tax measures could have on the nation's economy. Working Americans have historically been suspicious of taxes on the energy that they consume, and they recognize the intrinsic link between a healthy energy industry and economic prosperity.

To that end, I came across a great Op-Ed in Wednesday's Herald-News, written by Dave Sykuta, executive director of the Illinois Petroleum Council, outlining just how proposed tax measures could hurt the Illinois economy. He says:

"Congress is looking at the domestic jobs manufacturing deduction, a policy specifically enacted to help all domestic manufacturers encourage job growth. Congress wants to eliminate that policy, but only for oil and natural gas companies. Others in Congress look to rescind the "dual capacity" provision, which allows all U.S.-based companies to operate abroad without facing double taxation. Repealing this long-standing principle could put many American oil and natural gas companies at a competitive disadvantage and even discourage domestic growth and employment."

With more than 700,000 Illinois residents out of work, Sykuta points out that the state cannot afford these new taxes. The Illinois government receives more than $300 million in revenue from energy development each year, and higher taxes could decrease Canadian oil sands production, a process that employs many Illinois residents:

"Businesses, trade and labor organizations throughout Illinois are working to ensure we protect and preserve our much-needed jobs and create opportunities for additional job growth. These allied groups understand the role that industries, like the oil and natural gas industry, play in providing jobs and overall economic support for our state."

The oil and natural gas industry has the potential to put Americans back to work in Illinois and across the country. I have been amazed by the passion I have seen over the past two weeks as thousands have gathered to Rally for Jobs. Nearly a thousand Illinoisans gathered yesterday in Joliet to tell Congress and the administration that they need to be creating policies that would create jobs, not eliminate them. They must listen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.