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API launches oil tax ad campaign as budget reform discussions grow

The American Petroleum Institute plans to launch a television and online video advertising campaign to remind members of Congress that passing punitive oil and gas taxes to reduce the federal deficit would be short-sighted and counterproductive in the long run.

The ads will be concentrated in the Washington, DC, area where lawmakers and their staffs are at work, but could be expanded to a broader audience if necessary, API Executive Vice-Pres. Marty Durbin told reporters in a Mar. 13 teleconference.

“If increased revenue is truly the objective, then allow the oil and natural gas industry to continue to do what it has always done—invest in America’s economy by providing good-paying jobs here at home that develop the energy America needs,” Durbin said.

“That’s what the American people support, and in the long term the result would be far better for the American economy, for consumers, for our energy security, and for the nation’s long-term economic growth,” Durbin maintained.

Conceding that the only punitive measure introduced so far in 2013 came from US Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on Feb. 13 with 16 other Democrats as cosponsors, the API official said he was generally encouraged by the direction congressional tax reform discussions are moving under the direction of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David L. Camp (R-Mich.).

“It’s easy to go after the oil and gas industry and talk about issues in a polarized way,” Durbin observed. “But our very public campaign of talking directly to voters has helped immensely to educate voters and policymakers that yes, we’re a big industry, and yes, we make big profits, but we also make big US economic contributions. Without making a prediction on how far things will go this year, I think we’re making progress.”

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