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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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ese revenues would significantly drop due to the forced cutbacks in exploration and production caused by these federal tax increases.

Furthermore, every marginal well operator in the country should be acutely aware that these proposals will force the premature plugging of potentially tens of thousands of low-production marginal wells.

Despite the rhetoric, America’s oil companies are already paying taxes at the highest rates. Figures from the Energy Information Agency indicate that America’s major oil producers already pay on average more than a 40 percent income tax rate.

After President Jimmy Carter imposed a similar windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry back in 1980, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service later determined that its results were hugely counterproductive: "The WPT reduced domestic oil production between 3 and 6 percent, and increased oil imports from between 8 and 16 percent. … This made the U.S. more dependent upon imported oil.”

For American jobs, for the international competitiveness of American companies and for the consumers at the pump, Congress must reject Obama’s energy tax increases. These counterintuitive policies will undoubtedly make our nation more dependent on foreign oil, not less.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

These counterintuitive policies will undoubtedly make our nation more dependent on foreign oil, not less.