Independent Petroleum Association of America Responds to President Obama’s Re-election

Independent Petroleum Association of America Responds to President Obama’s Re-election

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to President Obama’s election for a second term, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Chairman Virginia “Gigi” Lazenby released the statement below. Lazenby is chairman of Nashville-based Bretagne, LLC, one of the 7,000 independent oil and natural gas companies that drill 95 percent of the nation’s wells.

“The power of oil and natural gas development in revitalizing our economy has been a central theme throughout this campaign season. America’s independent oil and natural gas companies have spearheaded a true energy revolution, causing U.S. manufacturing to return to the mainland and creating much-need jobs for the middle class. This is all possible because of the sophisticated, safe technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which have unlocked vast reserves of energy previously trapped in shale.

“IPAA appreciates President Obama’s affirmation of natural gas as an abundant and affordable energy source that will supply the United States for more than 100 years. However, IPAA has serious concerns about energy policies the Obama administration has implemented over the past four years, which taken together, demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the natural gas and oil industry in the United States. America’s independent producers, which supply 54 percent of U.S. oil and 85 percent of U.S. natural gas, encourage President Obama to take a renewed, more positive approach to oil and natural gas development in the United States.

“America’s independent producers employ 12 people on average, and like many small businesses, are threatened by unnecessary and onerous federal regulations. Right now, more than twelve federal agencies seek to regulate oil and natural gas development, a jurisdiction that the states have historically and successfully regulated. One-size-fits-all regulations from Washington that duplicate what regulators are doing at the state level threaten new supplies of energy and make it next to impossible for independents to operate on federal lands, both onshore and offshore.

“President Obama’s call to end the industry’s ‘subsidies’ the oil and natural gas companies supposedly receive demonstrates a deeply flawed understanding of the U.S. tax code and its role in mitigating the enormous risk that producers take on while exploring for new sources of energy. IPAA hopes President Obama will stop his call to eliminate the crucial tax provisions of intangible drilling costs and percentage depletion, which are not subsidies at all, but allow independent producers to reinvest 150 percent of their cash flow into new energy projects.

“President Obama has repeated his commitment to energy development in powering our economy and has promised to put Americans back to work. IPAA is committed to working with the President to deliver on this promise in his second term. We encourage the Obama administration to empower the states and implement a framework that allows independent producers to do what they do best – safely and responsibly find and develop American energy. If allowed to do so, oil and natural gas development will increase our nation’s energy security, create much-needed jobs, and give the American people the standard of life that petroleum creates.”

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Julia Bell