Wednesday, August 4, 2010

U.S. Voters to Congress: Reject New Energy Taxes

/PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Individual Freedom ("CFIF") today announced that activists from across the country have sent more than 21,000 letters to Congress urging opposition to federal legislation that slaps U.S. oil and gas companies with a massive new tax bill and consumers with increased energy costs.

The letters were sent over a two-week span in response to an alert sent out by CFIF educating activists about the negative consequences of legislation, proposed by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), that seeks to re-write the "dual capacity" taxpayer rules for American oil and gas companies. The change to the tax code would eliminate the tax credit afforded to domestic energy companies which currently permits them to offset taxes already paid to foreign governments on income made overseas. The Senate Finance Committee - in accordance with the president's budget proposal for next year - also is aiming to scrap the domestic manufacturing income deduction for U.S. energy firms.

"The thousands of voters who have called on Congress to oppose new energy taxes know what's at stake," said CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella. "While Congress is away for August recess, we hope they will listen to the concerns of their constituents. If they don't and move forward with plans to pass legislation that burdens domestic energy producers with massive and unfair new tax liabilities, thousands of jobs will be lost, investments in new exploration and production projects will be cut and millions of dollars that could further stimulate our economic recovery will disappear."

Perhaps most troubling is the detrimental effect these new taxes would have on American competitiveness and energy security. "If Congress succeeds in raising taxes on U.S. energy producers this fall, it will effectively be subsidizing foreign competitors such as BP, Russia's LUKOIL and Venezuela's CITGO, all of which would not be subject to the added taxes," Mazzella explained. "Congress would literally be handing foreign-owned corporations a competitive advantage over American employers, harming the U.S. economy and increasing our nation's reliance on foreign sources of energy from places that are all too often hostile to American interests and values."

This large groundswell of citizen activism illustrates just how important domestic energy producers are to the health of the nation's economy as a whole. The U.S. oil and natural gas industry generates more than one trillion dollars in economic activity annually and employs more than nine million workers throughout the country.

These 21,000-plus letters send a clear message to Congress: It's past time you stand up for American interests and reject calls to give a leg-up to foreign-based corporations at the expense of our nation's workers and businesses.

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