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Energy chiefs' message: Actions, not words, will determine energy future

BY HAROLD HAMM, AUBREY MCCLENDON, LARRY NICHOLS AND TOM WARD Published: March 21, 2012
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As large independent energy companies, we almost always reinvest more than we receive from selling oil and gas production. Therefore, punitive tax increases such as eliminating the business deduction of drilling costs or selectively increasing the energy industry's corporate tax rate by abolishing deductions available to other manufacturers would give us no option but to reduce our drilling programs, resulting in fewer jobs and higher prices.

Our industry invests billions of dollars to ensure our operations are conducted in an environmentally responsible manner. However, with more than a dozen federal agencies in your administration proposing, planning or implementing new regulations — for little or no environmental benefit — there is considerable risk that increased costs and bureaucratic delays will cripple America's energy production and halt the renaissance under way in our nation's steel, plastics, chemical and agricultural industries.

The newfound abundance of oil and gas in America creates for the first time in 50 years the opportunity to break OPEC's headlock on the American economy and reinvigorate America's industrial foundation.

Mr. President, your words suggest you want the economic benefits American natural gas and oil can deliver. We hope your actions follow suit — to date they have not.

The authors lead Oklahoma City-based large independent oil and gas exploration and production companies Continental Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and SandRidge Energy.