U.S. Oil, Gas Producers See ‘Contradictory Policy’ in Obama Climate Change Policy

U.S. Oil, Gas Producers See ‘Contradictory Policy’ in Obama Climate Change Policy

WASHINGTON, DC– Independent Petroleum Association of America President and CEO Barry Russell issued the following statement on President Obama’s natural gas and climate change strategy:

“Today, President Obama released another contradictory policy on the promise of American natural gas.  The president accepts the many benefits of increased use of natural gas such as jobs, cleaner air and less reliance on foreign energy.  Yet, at the same time, his continued proposal to increase taxes on the industry will strip away capital that could decrease American natural gas and oil production by up to 25 percent.

“American natural gas and oil production is one of the few bright spots in today’s economy, supporting as many as four million jobs and creating billions in state and federal revenues. America’s independent oil and natural gas producers also play an indispensable role in advancing national security. But despite common rhetoric, these companies do not receive a single dollar in government subsidies.

“To be clear, the tax structure that governs independent oil and natural gas producers is not a subsidy or a handout. These provisions and deductions – available to nearly every American industry – are what enable continued investment into U.S. production and exploration. Yet as the administration attempts to take credit for the historic energy output these companies are providing, it simultaneously targets the men and women at the heart of U.S. production – American independent producers that drill 95 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells.

“Exploration and production of American energy is a capital intensive process and drilling a well does not guarantee resource production or return on investment. Historical provisions, such as intangible drilling costs and percentage depletion, are key to allowing independent oil and natural gas producers to continue investment and exploration here in the United States.

“On the other issues mentioned in the President’s speech, the industry is also committed to safely producing America’s energy with new technological advancements that protect the environment.  This includes addressing any air emissions, such as methane and flaring. We believe that the immense benefits of shale production do not come at the expense of the environment, and policymakers should encourage and recognize the industry’s progress toward this goal.  Indeed, while American oil and natural gas production is on the rise, our emissions are on the decline.”

For more information on the industry’s tax issues, visit www.energytaxfacts.com

For more information on the industry’s environmental issues, visit: www.energyindepth.org.

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Jeff Eshelman