Labor, oil and natural gas officials have called on the chairmen of the House and Senate tax-writing committees to support tax policies that promote job development in the oil and gas industry, and bolster the nation’s energy and economic security.

In letters to Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, respectively, and Reps. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman and ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, respectively, the joint Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor-Management Committee said “avoiding tax increases on the industry is not only good tax policy — it is good energy policy.”

Recognizing that they had “common interests,” the leadership of the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO (BCTD), which represents 13 and national and international unions, formed the committee in June, said BCTD spokesman Tom Owens. Other members are the International Union of Operating Engineers and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, as well as oil and gas company CEOs.

“As you [consider] legislation to address expiring tax provisions and other revenue issues, we urge you to avoid policies that could endanger jobs in the domestic oil and natural gas industry, an industry that is critical to both our energy and economic security,” wrote BCTD President Mark H. Ayers and API President Jack Gerard, who sit on the committee. They noted that the oil and gas industry supports more than nine million U.S. jobs.

Industry executives estimate that proposals by the Obama administration, if adopted by Congress, could raise taxes for the oil and gas industry by more than $80 billion over the next 10 years (see Daily GPI, April 2).

An estimated $30 billion of the proposed tax hikes would be aimed directly at producers, while several indirect tax hike proposals — such as reinstatement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund tax, repeal of last-in-first-out accounting and reform of the international tax policy — would push the tax burden up even further for producers.

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