The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Congress Should Focus on American Job Creation and Energy Development

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted May 6, 2011

API Executive Vice President Marty Durbin had this to say in support of the House Natural Resources Committee's efforts to focus on the need to produce more of America's oil and natural gas resources, which would create more jobs for our workers and more revenue for our government:

This effort is the first to directly focus on America's vast resources, which will go a long way to supporting our government and American jobs. The president has encouraged more oil and natural gas development in Brazil and Saudi Arabia. We need the focus to be on what we can do here at home, and greater access is critical.

Proposals to increase taxes on our industry were a bad idea during the last Congress, and are a bad idea today. More taxes are a sure way to lower American investments, hurt American jobs, and eventually reduce federal revenue. The legislation turns the focus on what we can do in America for America by Americans.

A tax hike similar to what the administration and some in Congress have proposed would diminish revenue to the government by billions of dollars while also costing jobs and energy production, according to a recent study by the international consulting group Wood Mackenzie. Raising taxes on oil and natural gas companies would do nothing to lower gasoline prices, it would, however, punish millions of American retirees invested in state pension funds and the tens of millions of Americans who hold stock through mutual funds, IRAs and individual investments.

We have the opportunity to create over a million new American jobs and deliver trillions more to the federal treasury. But, we need to keep investing in America's companies and its people. HR 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, is a big step in the right direction. The House passed the H.R. 1230 and is expected to vote next week on H.R. 1229. The oil and natural gas industry congratulates Chairman Hastings and House members for voting in favor of the bill.

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.