We Deserve a Commonsense Energy Policy…Now
Once again, President Obama’s single-minded targeting of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has resulted in a call to end legitimate tax incentives that favor these businesses and allow them to compete against overseas producers. Once again, Congress will likely muster the necessary votes to defeat such a proposal. And once again, we’re reminded of a definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
This is not to suggest that the President and his allies are unbalanced. They’re just chronically misguided. They would have us believe that oil and gas businesses regularly receive handouts from the federal government, while raking in huge profits. They point to tax deductions – which are available to all U.S. manufacturers – as nothing more than subsidies for fossil fuel energy companies. They assure us that levying what amounts to a huge new tax on the energy industry will help pay down the nation’s debt and that Big Oil can afford it.
Rubbish. The fact is, if taxes are raised on the energy industry, we’re the ones who won’t be able to afford it. If the Administration somehow has its way and successfully singles out the oil and gas business for higher taxes, we’d better be prepared for some breathtaking price hikes at the gas pump and in grocery stores. More than a few of the 9 million Americans who work for oil companies could find pink slips in their pay envelopes, states and local communities could see a drop in tax revenues, and industries that rely on affordable fuel could lose investment opportunities and be forced to slow operations.
In mounting an attack on the oil and gas industry, the president is hoping that we won’t notice that what little there is of his energy policy, is deeply flawed . Stalled projects that could help meet a growing demand for fuel – from the Keystone Pipeline, to slowed permitting on offshore exploration and drilling – are costing our economy billions of dollars and putting our country’s energy security at risk.
The President needs to leave off squeezing oil and gas companies for more tax dollars. The American people deserve a commonsense energy policy that develops our vast resources, decreases our need for foreign oil, and removes unnecessary barriers that derail energy projects. We deserve affordable energy that puts more of us back to work and fuels expanded economic growth. We deserve better, Mr. President.