Don’t raise taxes on energy producers

Farm Forum

President Obama has continually advocated punishing the oil and natural gas industry, despite their enormous positive impacts to our economy. His past budgets have asked Congress to repeal Section 199, which is the manufacturing deduction for all manufacturing industries, including American oil and natural gas companies. If this deduction were to be eliminated, it would cost American jobs and weaken our nation’s energy security.

The oil and natural gas industry supports more than 9 million jobs and contributes more than $1 trillion to our economy. Since the recession began in 2007, these companies have added more than 20,000 new jobs to our workforce. It’s about time that our government celebrated companies who have been successful instead of punishing them with tax hikes.

One proposal targets American energy companies by taxing their foreign earnings a second time. This is extremely harmful, as other industrialized countries don’t double tax their industries; therefore, we would be put at a competitive disadvantage with countries such as China, Russia and Venezuela. There is wide consensus that the U.S. should be working to achieve energy independence and a tax like this will not move us toward that goal.

It is my hope that Sen. Thune stands up for businesses here in South Dakota and across the country by voting against the elimination of Section 199 and the dual taxation proposal that would raise taxes on job producers.

Matt Murdock