The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

We Are the American People, Mr. President

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 2, 2012

Here’s President Obama, campaigning Thursday in New Hampshire, calling for a vote on higher taxes on America’s oil and gas companies:

“We can put every single member [of Congress] on record: You can either stand up for the oil companies or you can stand up for the American people."

Respectfully, Mr. President, this is no it’s-either-us-or-them situation.

America’s oil and natural gas companies are the American people. We support 9.2 million jobs, contribute billions to the national economy annually and provide $86 million a day to the U.S. Treasury.

Even in a tough economic environment, this industry is a job creator, provides stimulus and pays its fair share of taxes – and we can do more. With the right policies our industry could create 1 million new jobs by 2018 and 1.4 million by 2030, while providing an additional $800 billion in government revenue.  The higher taxes on energy companies the president wants? They’ll mean fewer jobs, less government revenue and less energy.

We are the American people. Nearly 50 percent of all oil and natural gas company corporate shares are held by public and private pension funds, including 401(k)s and IRAs. Individual investors own 20 percent, while financial institutions and asset management companies own 27 percent. Less than 3 percent of all shares are owned by corporate executives and board members. Who owns Big Oil? Lots of regular Americans.

One more thing: Attacks on an industry that employs so many Americans and contributes so much to the economy and federal treasury are certainly disconnected with reality – because all of us are going to be using oil and natural gas for some time to come, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2035, EIA says, more than 55 percent of our energy will come from oil and gas.

That’s the energy reality. It recognizes that America is going to need a real all-of-the-above energy strategy going forward – oil and gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and more. It’s a reality that isn’t helped by this administration’s hostility toward an integral part of America’s energy present and future – a strong, productive industry with millions of American employees and stakeholders and which supports virtually every American’s way of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.