If a few wealthy companies or executives pay more, wouldn’t the rest of Americans have to pay less?
While many policy proposals give this impression, the reality is far different. The owners of America's oil and natural gas companies are largely retirees or middle-class Americans saving for retirement. The cost of higher taxes on this industry would be borne largely by them, not by CEOs.
Raising taxes on the oil and natural gas industry would hurt oil and natural gas shareholders — the millions of Americans whose retirement funds are invested in oil and natural gas stock. A strong oil and natural gas industry is a vital part of the retirement security for millions of Americans. State pension fund investments in oil and natural gas companies are providing strong returns middle class Americans and outperforming other investments. In fact, returns on oil and natural gas assets in the top two state funds in 27 states averaged 42 cents for each dollar invested, compared to just 6 cents for other assets in these funds from 2005 through 2009.
Moreover, our industry already contributes, on average, over $31 billion per year to the federal government in the form of taxes, rents and royalties. Punitive tax increases on the industry may provide short-term revenue, but will undermine economic investment and cause the federal government to lose money in the long term.
The bigger picture: Instead of punitive tax increases on an industry whose strong performance benefits so many Americans’ investments and retirement security, why not find ways to let an industry that contributed $476 billion to the economy last year do more: more jobs, more energy to secure the country's future, more revenue for government.
This industry already supports 9.2 million workers and 7.7 percent of our GDP. Singling out our industry for tax increases will erode that foundation and ultimately result in fewer jobs, less GDP growth and less revenue to the government.