The American Petroleum Institute (API) plans to launch an ad campaign Tuesday urging members of the joint House-Senate super-committee not to raise taxes for the oil and natural gas industry.
“We must challenge [the] ill-conceived advice being given to the super-committee,” said API President Jack Gerard during a teleconference with reporters in Washington, DC, Monday. He declined to say how much the institute would spend on the campaign, but noted that “this will be a significant spend.”
Some of the proposals floating around Capitol Hill are “just punitive to the oil and gas industry,” while other proposals are “punitive” to certain companies, he said.
The advertisements will run on The Energy Channel, the official YouTube Channel of API. Two of the ads feature prominent House chairmen and super-committee members: Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Both lawmakers oppose higher taxes for the oil and gas sector.
Brian Johnson, API’s senior tax policy advisor, appears in a third ad and points out that there are three areas that have not been able to meet their potential due to U.S. regulatory restrictions: offshore development, natural gas drilling and delivery of Canadian oilsands production to the United States due to opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The spotlight is on the super-committee, which in two weeks (by Nov. 23) will be required to report legislation identifying an additional $1.2-1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal deficit and possible tax reform. Congress is slated to vote on the bill by Dec. 23 (two days prior to Christmas), according to the schedule laid out by the White House.
In August President Obama and congressional leaders hammered out a deal to cut the deficit by $2.4 trillion over 10 years and increase the debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion (see Daily GPI, Aug. 15). They created the super-committee to come up with additional cuts and examine the potential for tax reform.
“I think leaders on both sides of the aisle are serious about tax reform,” said Gerard. The super-committee will decide whether to deal with tax reform in 2012, an election year, or “kick the can down the road” to 2013, he noted.
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