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New taxes on energy industry halt progress

Published: March 2, 2013

Most households run on a budget, or at least make the effort to set priorities. Unfortunately our federal government has not done so, instead saddling Americans with unprecedented debt. President Obama has repeatedly claimed he's focused on boosting our still-sagging economy. Despite the anemic recovery, our energy sector is growing and creating good, well-paying jobs. But if the president and Congress succeed in implementing billions worth of new taxes on the energy industry, they would put the brakes on this progress. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, echoed this in his response to the State of Union address:“(Oklahoma's low unemployment rate is) because of our thriving energy sector, an industry the president is attempting to kill with his liberal climate change agenda and his relentless war on fossil fuels.”

Inhofe is right. Putting a heavier tax burden on an industry that's providing opportunities to so many Americans won't solve Washington's overspending habit. Lawmakers must confront this problem honestly, whether through the so-called “sequester” or some other means that slows down expenditures (for defense and domestic programs) by an equal or greater amount.

Pete Sepp, Alexandria, Va.

Sepp is executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union.