The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

A Government Problem - An Energy Solution

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 19, 2011

The federal government has a deficit problem. That was clear from President Obama's statement Monday. The deficit needs cutting, and here's the good part: We have an idea that would spare the president the grief of having to call for higher taxes. Here it is: Energy.

The president wants to increase energy taxes $40 billion over 10 years. But instead of raising taxes on one of the economy's best jobs producers to bring in more revenue to the federal government, how about we adopt a pro-development strategy, one that will generate way more revenue - as well as additional jobs and energy.

"This is not class warfare, it's math," the president said. "The money is going to have to come from someplace." That someplace should be energy-sector growth - built on access to federal areas onshore and offshore that currently are closed to development and full utilization of Canada's oil sands. According to the Wood Mackenzie research and consulting firm, access/development policies would:

  • Generate $127 billion in revenue to the federal treasury by 2020. Compare that to Wood Mackenzie's estimate that revenues could fall $29 billion if energy taxes are increased.
  • Produce an additional 1.1 million jobs by 2020 - compared to 48,000 jobs potentially lost under the tax-hike scenario.
  • Supply an additional 4 million barrels' worth of oil and natural gas by 2020 - compared to 700,000 barrels' worth of oil and gas that might be lost if energy taxes are raised.

The graphic: choice1.jpg

API President and CEO Jack Gerard said the president's tax proposal would not result in job and economic growth:

"The president's plan to raise taxes would destroy jobs and drive investment out of the United States. It's ironic that in his search for revenues, the president overlooks the revenues available from increased access to domestic oil and natural gas. Rather than raising taxes on a single industry, he could raise revenues, create jobs and strengthen our energy security. With one stroke of his pen, the president could allow the oil and natural gas industry to create a million new American jobs in just the next seven years."

Everyone sees the problem. Unfortunately, not everyone sees the solution - a pro-growth, pro-jobs solution that relies on an industry with a proven record of boosting the economy and eager to be put fully to work. Right now.


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.