The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - April 28, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted April 28, 2011

Washington Examiner: Five Big Reasons to Drill, Baby, Drill: There are five compelling reasons why the next Congress should not renew the decades-old congressional ban on drilling for domestic oil and natural gas in areas now considered off-limits, according to a new study: Jobs, revenue, economic growth, public demand, and energy independence. Developing U.S. domestic energy resources would create up to 160,000 new high-paying American jobs, including 5 million "green" jobs, and generate $1.7 trillion in new royalties for federal and state governments. Since the energy industry is one of the few bright spots in the U.S. economy, it could help pull the rest of the nation out of recession. Sixty-eight percent of Americans say they want more domestic drilling, according to exit polls. Finally, every added barrel of domestically produced oil is one less that has to be bought from OPEC. Politico: ExxonMobil: Don't Hate Our Profits: In a blog post Wednesday, company Vice President Ken Cohen asks people to look past the "inevitable headlines and sound bites about high gasoline prices," think about world oil market disruptions and the falling U.S. dollar and remember ExxonMobil's investments in renewable energy... In one instance, Cohen reminds readers that "ExxonMobil doesn't set oil prices," noting the company produces less than 3 percent of the world's daily oil supply, "so it's really not credible to suggest that we are responsible for world oil prices." But then he urges angry Americans to think local, not global. "How are pump prices set at Exxon and Mobil stations?" Cohen writes. "We don't own 99.5 percent of them, and therefore we don't set the price. Local stations are often owned by a businessman or businesswoman in your community, and they set their own prices based on local market conditions."

Houston Chronicle: Neb. County Backs Proposed Canadian Oil Pipeline: A county board is supporting a proposed pipeline that would carry Canadian tar sands oil through Nebraska on its way to refineries near the Gulf of Mexico...The Merrick County Board voted Tuesday to write a letter of support for TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is being reviewed by the U.S. State Department. Southern Public Power District CEO Gary Hedman told the board the county and his utility will gain revenue if the pipeline is built, KOLN-TV reported. The proposed pipeline would cross Merrick County, and TransCanada plans to build a pumping station for it in the county. The 1,661-mile project is designed to carry oil from Canada across Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. TransCanada also has proposed connecting it to the Bakken oil field in Montana and North Dakota.

Wall Street Journal: The Gas Price Freakout: One of the main so-called subsidies that Mr. Obama wants to eliminate is for the expensing of intangible drilling costs, which has been part of the tax code since its inception. This immediate deduction--rather than amortizing the costs of development over a longer period--provides the capital and cash flow necessary in an industry where the risks are huge and returns are realized over many years, if not decades... The liberal drive to tax Big Oil is rooted in an ideological commitment to higher energy prices, not consumer relief. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the effective U.S. corporate tax rate for the oil majors was 26.3% in 2009, not counting royalties, excise taxes or bonus bids for leases. The effective rate typically tracks production and rises and falls with the price of oil. In 2008, it was 42.3%.

Additional Resources:

The Hill's E2 Wire: Industry Calls for Stay of EPA Boiler Rules

The Detroit News: Tap Natural Gas for Energy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.