An official with the American Petroleum Institute (API) decried a Senate provision to scrap job-creation tax incentives for major oil and natural gas producers, saying it would significantly slow the nation's economic recovery (see Daily GPI, Aug. 18).

"It's shortsighted to raise taxes and kill jobs, especially when so many Americans are out of work. Unwinding tax policy that has created thousands of high-paying jobs across the country -- just for the top few U.S. oil and natural gas companies -- will slow this engine of economic growth and prosperity," said API Tax Manager Stephen Comstock.

The amendment, which was proposed by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) as part of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, seeks to strike a key tax break for producers and manufacturers. The Section 199 manufacturing domestic deduction has been available for several years for major producers as an incentive to promote operations and employment, but it would be yanked under this amendment.

Prior to leaving for the congressional August recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a motion to recommit the bill to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions to report it back forthwith with the Section 199 amendment.

A recent IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates study "concludes the existing tax regime for oil and natural gas companies places them at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign competitors," said Comstock.

"The most recent tax proposal in the Senate would upend an already unlevel placing field, weakening an industry that currently supports more than 9.2 million American jobs."

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