NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 14, 2009

In June, the Institute for 21st Century Energy issued a report outlining the reasons why the Obama Administration's efforts to levy new taxes and fees on the oil and gas industry is a bad idea.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the report outlines the many reasons why singling out the oil and gas industries is bad for America, including increasing our reliance on foreign oil, harming U.S. economic competitiveness, and jeopardizing jobs while increasing costs to consumers.

  • Of particular concern is the fact that national oil companies (NOCs) will gain a competitive advantage over U.S. companies if oil and gas taxes be raised.
  • Already, 17 of the top 25 oil and gas producing companies are national companies, the largest of which are based in the Middle East, Russia, China and Venezuela. NOCs currently account for 51 percent of world oil and gas production.

Instead of raising oil and gas taxes, the Institute recommends:

  • Making public areas that are not legally prohibited available for lease and exploration, which could create as many as 160,000 new jobs, increase government revenues by as much as $1.7 trillion and offset nearly 20 percent of imported oil.
  • Changing the tax code such as reducing the recovery period for investment in electricity transmission lines.
  • Reducing the cost-recovery period for the installation of best available energy efficiency devices.
  • Providing for immediate expensing for investments that meet the standard for new breakthrough low carbon technologies.
  • Creating policies that encourage greater use of natural gas, and increasing and making permanent the research and development tax credit.

Since the Obama Administration seems intent on taxing us back to energy insecurity again, it will be up to Congress to reject this approach and pursue a path that will instead increase our energy security, says the Chamber.

Source: Matt Letourneau, "Obama Administration Ramps Up Efforts to Tax Our Way to Energy Insecurity Again," U.S. Chamber of Commerce, September 11, 2009; based upon: Report, "Taxing Our Way to Energy Insecurity Again," Institute for 21st Century Energy/U.S. Chamber of Commerce, June 2009.

For report:


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