The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

The Administration's Counterproductive Tax Proposal

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted February 23, 2011

With global unrest and demand putting upward pressure on global oil prices, one has to wonder about the wisdom of the administration's proposal to cut incentives that encourage the production of domestic oil and natural gas. If the president's proposed budget is approved, taxes would be raised on oil and natural gas companies, which could have the effect of reducing capital for energy investments.

Two recent op-eds are critical of the administration's plan. In U.S. News and World Report, Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union urges the defeat of tax policies that "single out an industry for punitive taxation":

"[M]any of the tax rules President Obama brands as 'oil subsidies' are actually credits available to any U.S. manufacturer...."

Blogger and energy company executive Steve Maley echoes Sepp's comments in a Human Events op-ed, adding that the tax increases will "hurt small domestic producers and natural gas," and could have a negative impact on "the elusive goal of energy security." Maley notes that U.S. consumers would be better served if the industry were recognized as "an engine of growth."

The oil and natural gas industry supports 9.2 million American workers, and could create more jobs, produce more domestic energy, and improve U.S. energy security under the right energy policies. Now is not the time to raise taxes on the oil and natural industry. Rather, it should be encouraged to produce more secure domestic energy for U.S. consumers.

More information about the administration's tax proposals is available on API.org.

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.