Watching Government: Deficit, tax uncertainties

Deep federal spending cuts and tax increases due to automatically kick in early next year actually may force Congress and the White House to finally begin addressing the federal budget deficit in 2012's final weeks. But exactly how—let alone whether it will involve possibly repealing federal tax provisions that the US oil and gas industry considers essential—remains very uncertain, Washington observers say. "I think that the end of the year is way too foggy to determine what will be done and therefore, what will be needed," suggested Stephen Comstock, the American Petroleum Institute's tax policy manager. "To the extent there are efforts to target our industry as a stopgap ...

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