AGA: Proposed tax law changes would harm gas consumers

The changes to oil and gas tax laws proposed by President Barack Obama's administration would hurt natural gas consumers as well as producers, the American Gas Association warned on Mar. 4.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 5 -- The changes to oil and gas tax laws proposed by President Barack Obama's administration would hurt natural gas consumers as well as producers, the American Gas Association warned on Mar. 4.

By changing tax laws that address intangible drilling costs, geological and geophysical expenses, percentage depletion, and the deduction for US manufacturers, the Obama administration's federal budget proposal would discourage independent producers from discovering and recovering domestic gas, according to AGA, which represents the nation's gas utilities.

"When supply shrinks and can't keep pace with demand, prices must rise," said AGA Pres. David N. Parker. "The 171 million Americans who rely on gas to heat their homes and cook their food could see higher energy bills should these provisions pass. That would put an even greater burden on consumers," he said.

The proposals not only would reduce domestic gas supplies but also eliminate many well-paying jobs and create a serious potential for upward price swings, Parker said.

"Right now, natural gas utilities are able to deliver clean, domestic natural gas to customers at reasonable prices. With the economy in the doldrums, now is not the time to increase the price of natural gas to consumers," Parker explained.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in General Interest