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All Posts from March, 2012

Big oil, big taxes

Posted: March 30, 2012 by Ken Cohen

The Senate debate on a bill to increase oil company taxes ended yesterday when supporters failed to get enough votes to continue. But the misinformation campaign rolls on. By now it’s becoming all too familiar, especially since Politico and The New York Times published leaked talking points being used to counter critics who blame the administration’s energy policy for high gasoline prices.

Any doubt we are in the middle of an election season will be erased by casting an eye on Washington, where some in the United States Senate are once again training their sights on the oil and gas industry. The Senate leadership is scheduling a vote in the next few days on a bill its supporters claim will “eliminate unnecessary tax subsidies” for integrated energy companies like ExxonMobil. It bears a loaded title: the “Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act” (S.2204). As Yogi Berra might say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

With U.S. natural gas production booming, and the price of natural gas right now lower than the price of gasoline or diesel fuel, some are asking: Why don’t more of our cars run on natural gas? Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles – the most common type of natural gas vehicle – have been around for…

Who is subsidizing whom?

Posted: March 15, 2012 by Ken Cohen

In its lead editorial yesterday, The Wall Street Journal took a hard look into the Obama administration’s campaign to end so-called “subsidies for Big Oil.” The paper’s conclusion turns the administration’s claims on its head: “The truth is that this industry is subsidizing the government.” This is the flip side of the coin that few realize – the oil and natural gas industry is an enormous source of revenue for the U.S. government.

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry helps power Americans’ engines through the fuels it produces. But a new report from the World Economic Forum shows the industry is driving U.S. job creation as well. According to the report, prepared in partnership with IHS-CERA, oil and natural gas production accounted for 9 percent of new U.S. jobs last year.

North America stands ready to play a leading role in a global energy transformation through the safe and responsible development of shale natural gas, oil sands and deepwater resources to meet growing energy needs –but it is going to require industry and governments to fulfill their respective roles if these opportunities are to be maximized. ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson delivered this important message at a keynote address yesterday at CERAWeek in Houston.

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