The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Americans Want Jobs, Not Higher Taxes

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted May 12, 2011

Even as the economy creates more jobs, unemployment remains much too high. That is one reason Americans remain highly suspicious of efforts to increase taxes on the oil and natural gas industry, an industry that supports more than 9.2 million jobs - and could create more than one million new jobs if we opened areas currently off limits, pursued oil and natural gas shale development, and furthered our energy partnership with Canada. A new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP found that in addition to millions of jobs, the oil and natural gas industry also supports 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, with its economic impact reaching all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Yet, some in Congress are calling for higher taxes on U.S. energy companies. These lawmakers are working under the guise of taking away "tax breaks" for the industry when they know that the oil and natural gas tax provisions are similar to or the same as those enjoyed by other industries. And they are using gasoline prices as a pretext when they know higher taxes would not lower prices. Not only that, but higher taxes will ultimately reduce, not increase, revenue collected by the government.

Higher costs, lower revenue, and possible job loss? No thank you.

It is important that our leaders turn away from economically damaging rhetoric and give us energy policies that will provide more energy, more economic growth and more jobs - and help reduce the deficit by generating even more revenue to the government.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. He also has served as the president and CEO of trade associations representing the chemical and mining industries. Jack understands how Washington works. He spent several years working in the U.S. Senate and House, and co-founded a Washington-based government relations consulting firm. A native of Idaho, Jack also is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, a university graduate program on politics, and his church’s leadership. He and his wife are the proud parents of eight children, including twin boys adopted from Guatemala.