The American Petroleum Institute, the powerful oil and gas industry trade association, is coming out against an amendment sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that would exclude much of the industry from a key manufacturing tax deduction.
The language, which has been proposed as an amendment to the small business bill scheduled to come up on the Senate floor this week, is part of a broad effort to repeal subsidies for the oil and gas industry in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. President Obama last week called for repealing oil and gas industry subsidies in order to pay for his broad transportation infrastructure plan.
In a Sept. 10 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), API President Jack Gerard said Nelson’s amendment would kill oil and gas industry jobs. According to the letter:
The American Petroleum Institute strongly urges you to oppose the higher-taxes, anti-jobs Nelson amendment to the Small Business Jobs Act (HR 5297) when the Senate takes up that legislation after recess. By repealing the Section 199 tax deduction for certain U.S. oil and natural gas companies, the Nelson amendment would discourage investment in new domestic energy projects by an industry that now supports more than 9.2 million American jobs. That would depress growth in new jobs, reduce oil and natural gas revenues to our government, and increase reliance on foreign sources of energy.
Gerard says an amendment by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) is a “vastly better choice” because it does not exclude the industry from taking advantage of the deduction, but instead addresses technical problems with complying with the deduction.