Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 22, 2018
Washington is known for partisan political skirmishing, so it’s not surprising that a group of Senate Democrats is trying to score political points against this year’s tax reform legislation by suggesting that lowering the corporate income tax rate has been linked to the recent rise in gasoline prices.
Let’s straighten them out on a couple of important things about gasoline prices, which have nothing to do with tax reform.
First, per-barrel costs for crude oil – the No. 1 factor in the cost of producing gasoline and diesel – have risen due to a tighter global oil supply/demand balance and lower inventories compared to last year. Second, with a strong economy, U.S. petroleum demand has run at its highest levels since 2007 and was up by more than 750,000 barrels per day in April, compared with one year ago. Next, as they do every year around Memorial Day, the start of the summer driving season, Americans are traveling more, which could raise demand further. Finally, although gasoline prices have increased recently, they’re still lower than where they were four years ago, largely because of increased domestic oil production.
Posted December 28, 2017
America’s energy abundance makes our country stronger, more prosperous and secure in the world. Safely harnessing this energy requires technology, innovation, access to reserves and smart policy. When these come together, we all benefit.
Posted November 14, 2017
Posted August 31, 2017
President Trump’s call for tax reform this week, kicking off the administration’s push for pro-growth measures to spur investment, create jobs and raise earnings is one we can certainly understand. The president said:
“We need a competitive tax code that creates more jobs and higher wages for Americans. It’s time to give American workers the pay raise that they've been looking for, for many, many years. … If we do this, if we unite in the name of common sense and the name of common good, then we will add millions and millions of new jobs, bring back trillions of dollars, and we will give America the competitive advantage that it so desperately needs and has been looking for for so long. It’s time.”
No argument here. The natural gas and oil industry is about economic growth: investing, creating jobs and boosting worker pay for years – on the way to supporting 10.3 million jobs while adding $1.3 trillion to the national economy and aiding growth across all 50 states.
Posted February 28, 2017
Washington is having a discussion right now about reforming the tax code, no doubt reflecting the importance of taxes and the economy during the 2016 election campaign. The right approach will seek reforms that foster job creation and economic growth, and, encouragingly, that’s what the new administration has talked about in its early days. This approach should be applied to our industry as well.
Posted August 19, 2016
The successful U.S. energy paradigm shouldn’t be put at risk by imposing higher taxes on the energy producers. Americans agree. In a recent poll 66 percent of registered voters said they oppose higher taxes that could decrease energy production. In a year where everyone is poll-conscious, it’s an opinion that should be heard.
Posted February 16, 2016
The president’s $10 per barrel oil tax proposal has been out for about a week now, and the analysis from a number of experts – both in terms of politics and economics – could be boiled down to the social media acronym “smh,” which stands for “shaking my head.”
Political analysis first: “The president perennially proposes repealing the oil industry tax credits which Congress annually ignores,” Benjamin Salisbury at FBR Capital Markets toldBloomberg. “It seems overwhelmingly likely that this fee meets the same fate.” ClearView Energy Partners’ Kevin Book said there are “near-zero odds that the Republican-led Congress will grant the president’s request.”
Posted October 27, 2015
Reports by Bloomberg and others say that White House and congressional budget negotiators would sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to partially pay for their new budget agreement. Sales would total 58 million barrels from 2018 to 2025, according to a draft House bill (see Section 403-a).
How much money would be raised from the sales would depend on prices at the time of the sales. But, if the goal is generating revenue for government to fund worthy projects, rather than a series of one-time sales, why not lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports and create an annual revenue stream?
According to a study by ICF International (Page 86), ending the 1970s-era oil exports ban would lift the U.S. economy, create jobs – and generate significant additional revenue for government. A number of other studies mirror ICF’s findings on the economic benefits from lifting the export ban. We highlight ICF here because its estimate of additional oil production from lifting the ban (up 500,000 barrels per day) is almost identical to the output increase estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (470,000 barrels per day). ICF:Federal, state, and local governments benefit from crude oil exports both in terms of the generation of GDP, which is then taxed at these levels, but also through royalties on federal lands where drilling takes place. Total government revenues, including U.S. federal, state, and local tax receipts attributable to GDP increases from expanding crude oil exports, could increase up to $13.5 billion in 2020.
Posted October 9, 2015
We’re still more than a year from the next presidential election, but already we’re hearing attacks on energy company earnings, rhetoric calibrated for the sole purpose of riling up the party base. It’s bad political theater that misleads the American public to score political points, distracting from a substantive debate on the right energy path for the country. This has come up most recently in the debate over lifting the 1970s-era ban on U.S. crude oil exports -- which was advanced with bipartisan U.S. House passage of a bill ending the export ban.
Yesterday, we looked at problems with the White House’s opposition to lifting the ban. Goodness knows, export opponents on Capitol Hill have their own faulty reasons. We’ve covered most of these before, including consumer impacts, national security and the oil imports vs. exports muddle.
Some of the biggest confusion comes from those who find it convenient to flay the oil and natural gas industry. Certainly, running around and repeating “Big Oil” over and over again plays well with people who don’t like fossil fuels and/or progress in general. Unfortunately, in their rush to attack those who supply products that the American people actually want and demand – products that power our economy and modern way of life – it’s the American people who take the hit.
Posted September 29, 2015
U.S. oil and natural gas companies continue to lead in investing in the domestic economy, with five companies among the Progressive Policy Institute’s top 25 in 2014 U.S. capital expenditures.
ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum and Hess lead an energy production/mining sector that invested $43.6 billion in 2014, closely following the $48.7 invested by telecom/cable.
That’s great news for the U.S. economy which, as the PPI report details, needs investment to expand. PPI calls the top 25 its “investment heroes” because “their capital spending is helping to raise productivity and wages across the economy.”