STUDY: Repealing Tax Deductions on U.S. Energy Companies Exacerbates Federal Deficit, Increases U.S. Debt

LSU Economist Finds Administration’s Dual Capacity and Section 199 Proposals Would Reduce Federal Tax Revenue by More Than $53 Billion

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Louisiana State University Endowed Chair of Banking and nationally-renowned economist Dr. Joseph R. Mason today released a just-completed study that finds the Administration’s proposal to carve out U.S. energy firms from receiving certain tax deductions would have a net negative impact on federal revenues. In his study, “Budget Impasse Hinges on Confusion among Deficit Reduction, Tax Increase and Tax Reform: An Economic Analysis of Dual Capacity and Section 199 Proposals for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry,” Dr. Mason finds repealing tax deductions for American energy manufacturers would result in:

• $30 billion in Federal tax revenue at the expense of some $341 billion in economic output;
• Over 155,000 lost jobs, $68 billion in lost wages, and $83.5 in reduced tax revenues; and,
• A net fiscal loss of $53.5 billion in tax revenues.

“The administration’s proposal to eliminate tax deductions on U.S. oil and gas companies is grossly counterproductive toward the goal of increasing federal revenues,” Dr. Mason said. “Such a move would have a net negative impact on revenue, thereby increasing federal deficits.”

“If the goal is deficit reduction, a far more meaningful approach would be reforming federal tax and business policies that encourage economic growth. Expansion of oil and gas exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf, for example, would generate an estimated $11 billion annually in Federal tax revenue in the short run, and $55 billion annually in Federal tax revenue in the long run.

“Reform supports business development in both developing and developed countries, alike. The best reformers have several things in common. First, their reforms are part of a broad agenda of boosting global competitiveness and, second, they never stop. Even developing countries previously stung by fiscal imbalances and committed to business reform rarely retreat to increased taxes as a way to raise revenues. The U.S. should also step up to the challenge of reform.”

Dr. Mason’s conservative economic analysis employs the same economic used in government modeling – the U.S. Commerce Department’s RIMS II system.

Dr. Mason’s report was sponsored by the American Energy Alliance (“AEA”). To learn more and get exclusive information on upcoming projects, sign up for AEA’s In The Pipline<>.

Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, issued the following statement in response to the study’s findings:

“This study confirms that President Obama’s insistence on imposing discriminatory tax changes on American oil and gas companies has nothing to do with deficit reduction – it has everything to do with satisfying his anti-energy agenda. The president’s insistence on these senseless tax hikes is further proof of his outright hostility to the oil and gas industry – an industry that provides over 9 million jobs and billions in revenue to the federal government.”

Founded in May, 2008, The American Energy Alliance (“AEA”) is a not-for-profit organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies.  AEA is the advocacy arm of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a not-for-profit organization – founded in 1989 – that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.


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