Proposals being considered in Congress will raise energy prices, hurting Delaware businesses, commuters, and everyone in the state who pays an energy bill.
While Washington, D.C., is only a short drive from Delaware, it often seems the discussions there are a world away from the lives of Delawareans. But the energy policies under consideration in Congress, from a Cap and Trade plan to a tax hike on energy production, will have a huge impact on the state.
All areas of the state would be affected by higher energy prices. In northern Delaware, the energy-intensive companies such as the chemical producers and manufacturing companies provide jobs for tens of thousands of Delawareans. In lower Delaware, farmers rely on low-cost energy to help them stay in business. And there will be far fewer tourists flocking to Rehoboth, Dewey, and Delaware’s other beaches if gasoline prices go up. Any Delawarean who commutes to Philadelphia or other long distances to work would be shelling out more of their money for fuel. And higher energy prices mean every Delawarean would be forced to pay more for their electricity or natural gas.
That is why it is vital that we pay attention to what’s happening with energy legislation in D.C. A Cap and Trade carbon regulation plan would increase energy costs considerably, hurting businesses and consumers across the state. Proposed tax increases on domestic energy production would raise gasoline and home heating oil prices.
Being part of Energy Citizens is an important way you can keep track of what’s going on in Washington on energy issues. These aren’t issues that we can just leave up to professional politicians. All of us need to be educated on this topic and being part of Energy Citizens is the easiest way for you to stay informed and have the tools you need to impact the debate.
Politically driven policy decisions in Washington could make it more difficult for Alaska oil and natural gas companies to continue supplying the nation with domestically produced energy.
The tragic Gulf spill – and the opportunity it has presented to opponents of domestic oil and natural gas production – could not have come at a worse time for Alaska. Shell Oil had planned to start exploring reserves in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas this summer, an area with almost limitless potential.
But some Beltway politicians want to use the spill as a catalyst for harsh restrictions on offshore drilling, even though the vast majority of U.S. offshore operations have a remarkably clean safety record.
Altogether, the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, and North Aleutian Basin are thought to hold as much as 65.8 billion barrels of oil and 305 trillion cubic feet of gas. Shell estimates that – in addition to considerably lessening our nation’s dependence on foreign energy suppliers – tapping these reserves could generate an annual average of 35,000 jobs for the next 50 years. That would mean a total payroll of $72 billion and almost $6 billion in direct petroleum revenues to state and local governments.
This is tragically typical of strategies supported by people who don’t know the oil industry the way Alaskans do. They don’t make the connection between the intelligent use of domestic energy reserves and America’s ability to safeguard its economic competitiveness and national security. They don’t understand how hard we work to utilize those resources with the utmost respect for the environment and the safety of everyone involved.
Alaskan Energy Citizens need to help other Americans better understand how it’s possible to achieve a win-win balance between energy development and the environment.
People on all sides of the political spectrum acknowledge that energy is vital to our nation and the world. Once you acknowledge this fact, you cannot deny the importance of oil and natural gas.
The nonpartisan but left-leaning Energy Future Coalition (EFC) acknowledges the central place of energy in our lives: “Energy is the linchpin of our economy. We use energy to power our factories, refrigerate our medicines, light our schools, and transport our food.”
The EFC supports what is arguably an unrealistic goal of seeing the U.S. produce 25% of our energy from renewable and alternative sources by 2025-the so-called “25 by 25 vision.” Even with this optimistic estimate, EFC suggests that 75% of our nation’s energy will still come from other sources. What are those other sources? Oil, natural gas, and coal.
In other words, even though we are increasing the use of renewables, our energy future for decades to come includes traditional energy sources.
Natural gas especially stands out as a promising source for domestic energy. Improved technologies enable us to access natural gas safely with minimal environmental impact. A recent study finds that Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale is particularly promising for natural gas production. And clean-burning natural gas will be the source of energy for 90% of new power plants coming on line over the next several years.
The bottom line: our nation’s energy policies must take into account that natural gas and oil matter.
Energy—for producers, businesses, and consumers—is already significantly taxed. Increasing energy taxes will hurt economic recovery and further jeopardize our nation’s energy security.
Companies in the energy sector already pay more in taxes than their counterparts in other industries. For example, in 2008, oil and natural gas companies paid an average tax rate of 48.4%, compared to the 28.1% average for S&P industrials.
This means energy companies have fewer dollars for new energy development and exploration; fewer dollars to create jobs; and fewer dollars to invest in developing new technologies. All of these investments pay off for the U.S. economy. Instead, excessive taxes go largely to general government coffers.
Past tax hikes in the face of energy challenges have been disastrous. When domestic energy taxes have been raised, our dependence on foreign energy has grown and jobs have been lost. It is a lose-lose policy that simply allows policymakers to score points with special interests.
Who Will Be Hurt by Higher Taxes on Energy Companies? Watch the video.