Baucus’ War on Domestic Energy

Trade unions are joining the American Petroluem Institute in opposition to Senator Max Baucus’ plan to hike taxes on domestic oil and gas producers, to the benefit of foreign producers and manufacturers. 

The Wall Street Journal has this:

Senate Democrats see popular discontent over oil prices and anxiety over the federal deficit as giving them an opportunity to put a wide array of energy tax breaks–including those for oil and ethanol producers–in play. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised this week that increased revenue from the elimination of tax breaks would be used for deficit reduction.

The finance panel’s chairman, Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) recently released the outline of a plan to cut tax breaks affecting the country’s five biggest oil companies and to impose new levies on operators in the Gulf of Mexico, while protecting allowances for smaller operators.

Spokesmen for the American Petroleum Institute reiterated the group’s opposition to the Democrats’ proposals, and released a letter—co-signed by the presidents of the API and the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department—warning that the proposals being considered could jeopardize jobs.

Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner has a piece on “Obama’s War on Demostic Energy” and how it is driving up gas prices.   The op-ed was written by Thomas J. Pyle, the president of the Institute for Energy Research, a not-for-profit analysis center.

Obama’s secretary of energy, Stephen Chu, once said Washington needs to “figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” where prices are above $8 per gallon.

The Obama administration has canceled 138 leases for Western energy production, indefinitely delayed other projects and erected regulatory burdens for American businesses to produce energy in America.

The president essentially shut down the Gulf of Mexico beginning last April, killing 19,000 jobs and decreasing domestic oil production by 240,000 barrels per day through 2012.

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