WASHINGTON — The lobby group for the nation's largest oil and gas companies is launching a television ad campaign against any effort to single out the energy industry for higher taxes.
Ads sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute are scheduled to begin running today in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio warning that higher energy taxes could raise the cost of gasoline and electricity and kill jobs.
The states were targeted because they have Republican members of the congressional super committee that is working on a deficit-reduction plan. The Republican lawmakers have previously opposed higher taxes, and viewers should urge them to fight against “job-
API President Jack Gerard said Monday that the organization was spending a significant amount on the campaign.
The group also sent a letter to the super committee saying that the oil and gas industry pays “its fair share and more” of federal taxes.
“Tax policy should not be a discriminatory popularity contest,'' the letter states. “Apple Incorporated earned profits equal to some of our larger member companies in the most recent quarter. Yet Apple's profit margins were far higher, and its effective tax rate was far less, but there are no calls to remove Apple's tax provisions, nor should there be.
“We are willing to join a broad discussion of business tax reform with all U.S. industries included, but not an exercise that singles out one industry.”
Since taking office, President Barack Obama has called for eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies to raise an estimated $5 billion a year in revenue; Senate Democrats have tried to eliminate the breaks for the five largest energy companies.
Gerard said his organization has not had time to study all of the implications of Camp's proposal.