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Poll: 55 Percent of Iowa Voters Oppose New Oil, Natural Gas Taxes

Bill Bush | 202.682.8114 |

Washington, March 21, 2011 – More than half of Iowa voters oppose higher taxes on America’s oil and natural gas industry, according to a new poll released today. The telephone poll of 600 Iowa registered voters found that 55 percent oppose an increase, including 34 percent who strongly oppose. Only 33 percent support increasing taxes.

“Voters know raising taxes on an industry that provides most of their energy and supports more than 9.2 million jobs would hurt them and damage the economy,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “Raising taxes doesn’t address their major concern, which is putting people back to work. More taxes would jeopardize existing jobs and mean fewer new jobs.”

Both the administration and some members of Congress have recently proposed billions of dollars in new taxes on the industry. However, a study conducted by the research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie concludes that over the long term a large tax hike on the industry could actually lower total revenues the industry provides to government because less energy development would occur.

Those surveyed said the two most important issues for the federal government to address are the economy and job creation. This is in line with other national polls from Gallup and CNN.

The industry pays almost $100 million a day in taxes, royalties and other payments and fees to the government. A review of Compustat data shows that the oil and natural gas industry had an effective average tax rate of 48.4 percent in 2009 compared with 28.1 percent for the rest of S&P industrial companies.


This study was conducted February 20-22 by telephone by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute among 600 registered voters in Iowa, with a sampling error of +/- 4% at a 95% confidence level. A full methodology is available upon request.

“What America is Thinking on Energy Issues” is a public opinion series provided by API, offering data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know Americans’ perspectives on key energy issues.

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