Comments on: The U.S. cannot afford to tax energy producers more Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: jtfane Mon, 08 Oct 2012 23:19:40 +0000 Some interesting numbers for Mr. Rafuse and others to contemplate. I’ve been meaning to come up with these for awhile but this article gave me a good excuse. First a disclaimer, I caught myself making a couple of rather egregious errors (mixing up millions and billions and whatnot) while calculating these numbers so I may have easily missed others. If anyone can find any errors in these calculations I’d be very grateful. According to the article the US collects US$30B in total average annual revenue from oil and nat gas concerns. According to the US EIA total oil production in the US was 2,065M bbls last year and total nat gas production was 28,576 BCF. Converting to bbl oil equivalent (BOE) gives 7,373M boe total production. This works out to government revenues of US$4.07/boe, not very impressive with oil at ~$100/bbl. So here’s the interesting part. According to the same source (US EIA) Norway produced 754M bbl of oil in 2009 and 3,663 BCF of nat gas for a total of 1,435B boe. In 2009 the surplus income from oil and natural gas production deposited in the Government Pension Fund of Norway was (rather coincidentally) US$29.6B for an equivalent revenue of US$20.60/boe. Can it possibly be true that the Norwegian state receives over five times the revenue per barrel of oil equivalent as does the US government? If both this and Mr. Rafuse’s claims are true shouldn’t the world have already ended? Or, at very least, oil producers be flocking in droves out of the North Sea?

By: breezinthru Sun, 07 Oct 2012 04:08:37 +0000 The Republican House obviously conducted that hearing on behalf of their friends in the oil business and on behalf of the Republican candidates who are running for office in this election cycle.

On what does their energy stooge, Harold Hamm, base his prediction of a 40% decline in drilling in the event that his energy-producing friends are no longer allowed to reach into the taxpayers’ coffers with both hands.

If they can’t make money in the oil business without taxpayer subsidies, then let the markets find someone who can.

By: possibilianP Sat, 06 Oct 2012 14:10:54 +0000 Nice unbiased article from a person who has no special interest or ties to the energy indusrty..ahem. Why did Reuters publish this article? What did they expect him to say? There are no new revelations here. Summary: Those nice energy companies will go right out and do the right thing if only we’d eliminate their taxes. Dream on.

By: Vilavicki Sat, 06 Oct 2012 02:31:57 +0000 Good comments from those who well know that this article is ridiculous. We should tax them more and tax all the wealthy more. Where is the patriotism to the U.S. Government that has been so generous to these very entities. Of course they should pay more taxes and it is time for more reasonable people in Congress who support taxing them more for the good of the country.

By: SchWI Fri, 05 Oct 2012 13:54:14 +0000 60%? That statistic looks dubious at best.

By: LEEDAP Fri, 05 Oct 2012 05:11:20 +0000 Okay, that sounded good when I wrote it, but it won’t be ONLY rich people who get subsidies.

However, just as weak is Jack Refuse’s argument that without subsidies domestic oil production will diminish. I do admit that domestic oil production costs are probably a lot more expensive than imported oil production costs. But if that were the only factor, someone needs to explain to me the economics of deep water drilling because that’s a lot more expensive than shale or tar sands. So excuse me for not taking the bait. In this age, where are you going to find better returns on your investment?

By: JBltn Fri, 05 Oct 2012 04:53:43 +0000 Mr. Rafuse, your conflict of interest between the incidence of contingent tax liabilities and achieving an equitable tax burden throughout our society vs. your professional consultancy role to Energy producers is to be expected, however your bias has clouded your perception & rational thought processes. I’ll accept your numbers about jobs and annual tax payments, (est.)… However, there is always – ‘The Rest of the Story. That’s particularly true when someone, like you also has a financial conflict of interest, conforming ideological beliefs then publicly asserts that Energy producers, members of the most profitable industrial sector worldwide, deserve preferential tax code treatment because they already pay billions in various taxes and provide many jobs. Sir, the absurdity of your statements is only exceeded by combining flawed logic, ignoring stakeholders, the magnitude of explored issues, jumping to erroneous conclusions, and developing a flawed plan without a possibility of successful implementation; in other words – FAIL.
First and foremost, every poll I seen in the last six months show a constantly increasing majority of Americans believe corporations and the richest 1 percent aren’t paying their ‘fair share’ of the tax burden and s/b taxed more; the last one showed that 77 percent of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with that statement. Energy producers have received preferential tax treatment for decades and longer from a grateful Congress by creating some really weird loopholes, credits, exclusions, offsets and current tax rates are historically low. Your Op-Ed implies ‘they’ are entitled to those loopholes and preferred treatment, being somehow owed or deserve them; NOT! FACT: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell combined, reported earnings of Three hundred & seventy-five, ($375,000,000.00) million dollars, in Profits, A DAY in 2011and only a few million dollars less, of daily profits, for the 1st quarters of 2012. Frankly Jack, The US government MUST reform the Tax Code to eliminate ALL of their preferential tax loopholes, especially those included in Bush’s 2001 & 2003 tax cuts for the ‘Energy industrial Sector’, Big Oil, and Coal, resulting in ‘them’ becoming the most profitable Corporations in the US. In 2011, the GOP leadership in the House refused to bring, The End Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act of 2011 that cuts nearly $40 billion, dollars of taxpayer subsidies to the oil industry, ending rewards for environmentally dirty practices and restoring some balance to the federal budget, to the house floor for a vote. Ignoring evidence that Bureau of Interior staffers in Denver, Co had developed a culture of drug abuse, office sex, and accepting monetary bribes from Energy Producers employees to falsify government documents to reduce public land leasing fees, oil extraction charges and production taxes owed the government Congress refused to even consider updating the 1872 General Mining Act that authorizes, governs and sets lease and extraction fees on public lands to private miners and corporations; leaving unchanged public land lease fees, extraction charges and taxes owed government established 140 years ago – yet another government subsidy to Energy producers. In 2011, Congress attempted to defund the EPA; the agency responsible for enforcing environmental laws that Big Oil and Coal routinely ignore, break or evade, inspect, levy fines or prosecute violators thereby giving Energy Producers an indirect subsidy, paid for by all Americans. In 2011 Congress didn’t eliminate or revise the corporate foreign earned income provision in the tax code that allows them to offset US tax liability on earned income by taxes paid to a foreign country, yet doesn’t require corporations to pay US income taxes on all earned revenue – another government subsidy to Energy producers. However, in 2011 the GOP Congress did consider revising the Safe Drinking Water Act and granting Big Oil an exemption from the Act for their hydraulic fracturing and oil extraction; a technique involving injecting live steam with a variety of toxic chemicals into the ground to fracture underground shale and extract natural gas. These toxic chemicals were proved to enter an area’s underground drinking water supply in rural OH and are also suspected to be a cause of current tectonic instability in several states previously considered stable. That bill, H.R. 1084 would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed as needed to protect the public health, just as with other toxic discharges, languished in Committee.
IMHO Jack, since the activist Conservative ‘Justices, on the Supreme Court, somehow decided that corporations are citizens [Citizens United vs. FEC] and therefore they could make political campaign donations, and they started making them by the millions, unbeknownst to shareholders, corporations should be taxed under the same tax code provisions as other citizens are, under the same exemption limits and constraints and ALL corporate earned income be subject to US income taxation; REGARDLESS OF WHERE IT WAS EARNED, likewise corporations must disclose all foreign bank accounts and deposits and face the same currency transfer rules, regulations and comply with idiotic TSA policies like all other US citizens.

By: LEEDAP Fri, 05 Oct 2012 04:39:22 +0000 Did Jack Rafuse actually make a case for corporate subsidies to profitable companies with a balance of trade argument? Well in addition to @IAmKam’s well articulated response, I’d like to add the following argument in terms of our ability to pay the debt back. Let’s see if there are any takers.

When determining the government’s ability to repay borrowed money for welfare programs (be they corporate or social), we need to also look at the tax dollars generated from the subsidy. For a counter point, let’s look at social welfare in the form of federal subsidies for teacher wages.

The first return on investment is in income tax on money earned. Income tax from these middle income workers is typically higher than corporate income tax and is certainly more than Mitt Romney’s rate. So we’re one up there. Next lets look at where those subsidized wages are spent: Rent, food, and entertainment are typically spent locally where they contribute to the profits of local business owners and wages of local employees. This creates jobs and more income tax. Compare that to investments in oil wells requiring more subsidies.

Oh, I know I’m leading down a slippery slope with this talk. With this kind of thinking there might be more jobs and less corporate profit in the future. And as Jack Refuse warns, that could lead to less domestic oil produced. But if people don’t have jobs, who is going to buy the oil? The answer is: only rich people who get subsidies.

By: BuffaloGirl Fri, 05 Oct 2012 01:25:53 +0000 See : reen/news/2012/02/07/11145/big-oils-bann er-year/. So much money they made is now used to buy back their shares.
Here are some more highlights from the big five’s activities in 2011:
They produced 4 percent less oil and “oil equivalent” in 2011 compared to 2010.
They spent a total of $38 billion, or 28 percent, of their profits to repurchase their own stock.
They are sitting on more than $58 billion in cash reserves as of the end of 2011.
They spent $1.6 million on campaign contributions and $65.7 million on lobbying efforts.
For every $1 spent on lobbying in Washington, the big five received $30 worth of tax breaks.

There are many great articles that shed more light on the oil industry and more.

By: BuffaloGirl Fri, 05 Oct 2012 01:10:01 +0000 My previous comment should have read: There would be less low grade petroleum products pollution.