Congress must reject energy tax increases

BY U.S. SEN. JIM INHOFE Modified: April 1, 2009 at 5:45 am •  Published: April 1, 2009
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As demonstrated by President Obama’s budget, the administration has launched an onslaught of unprecedented policies to restrict access to natural resources and increase taxes on America’s homegrown natural gas and oil industry.

The attack has drawn the ire of Democrats and Republicans from energy-producing states. One Senate Democrat recently said, "I’m going to ask the president how he thinks that increasing substantially taxes on the oil and gas industry helps us to achieve our goal of domestic energy independence of a more robust domestic drilling program. It’s one of the areas where I take the strongest issue with the administration. ... But independent oil and gas producers, which are the backbone of the domestic industry, cannot bear the elimination of these tax credits.”

I could not agree more.

Of the nearly 6 million Americans who are directly and indirectly employed as a result of natural gas and oil exploration, production and refining, all should be alarmed with the adverse consequences of President Obama’s tax increases.

His $31 billion increase in oil and gas taxes would significantly curtail the operating budgets of all exploration and production companies, big and small.

Tens of thousands of land owners from Montana to New York and Alabama to New Mexico are the beneficiaries of monthly checks coming from the mineral royalties produced on their properties. Nearly every single one of these royalty owners would face tax increases under Obama’s plan.

States annually receive billions of dollars in excise and severance taxes to support the critical funding of roads, schools and law enforcement.