Yes, because apparently the President is the last person who should be providing investment analysis of the oil and gas industry, according to the U.S. Oil and Gas Association’s President Tim Stewart.
Written by Rooster for True Grit.
In his State of the Union address, President Biden criticized the oil and gas industry and its profits, proposing to tax the wealthiest corporations to pay their fair share. This move, however, has been met with pushback from the Texas and U.S. oil and gas industry, as they paid a record $24.7 billion in taxes and state royalties in fiscal 2022 alone.
The oil and gas industry leaders are pointing out that the President’s recognition that “we’re still going to need oil and gas for a while” was a positive sign, but the given timeframe was completely implausible. The industry argues that under any realistic scenario, oil and natural gas will continue to play a critical role in meeting global energy demand, providing unprecedented economic contributions for the country, and protecting our nation’s energy security for many decades to come.
Texas Oil & Gas Association President Todd Staples said that the President’s administration has cancelled pipelines, delayed permits, removed federal acreage from being leased, and discouraged investment in the industry, yet the President asks for greater production from foreign countries. He added that punitive tax schemes targeting the energy Americans depend upon for daily living will do nothing but lower production and hurt consumers.
The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association President Ed Longanecker pointed out that Texas produced a record level of natural gas last year and near record levels of oil, while also contributing record levels of state taxes and state royalty payments. The industry responded to and rose above the inordinate pressure and regulatory burdens it faces from Washington, as those in the Permian Basin reduced emissions by over 76%.
Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma, representing western companies who’ve fought the administration over canceled lease sales and permits, said it’s unfortunate that Democrats feel a need to be hostile to businesses, such as energy companies, that produce the goods and services and pay the wages that fund the entire government and non-profit sectors. She noted that the oil and natural gas industry pays hundreds of billions in royalties, income taxes, severance taxes, property taxes, and fees to federal, state, and local governments. Returning profits to shareholders is necessary at some point, otherwise why would investors risk their money unless there was some return on their money at some point?
Houston-based 20-year industry executive Richard Welch called the President’s proposal unAmerican and anti-capitalist. He said that punishing the oil and gas industry for not expanding its operations after his administration repeatedly said it’s trying to end it is hypocritical.
In conclusion, the oil and gas industry leaders are pushing back against Biden’s claims and accusations, pointing out their contributions to the country and the economy, and questioning the President’s right to provide investment analysis of their industry. They argue that punishing energy producers is only hurting American consumers, driving energy prices higher, and putting our global allies at risk.