One wrong-headed move follows another with this president, and listing them would take days. Drilling bans, ridiculous regulatory burdens, locked up lands, and halting the Keystone Pipeline come quickly to mind, but there is more. Two moves currently underway underscore the problem. The first is the “Menendez Amendment” that may be introduced as part of the coming highway bill in the Senate. It is yet another run at taking away “loopholes” from American oil companies – “Loopholes” that are available to every other type of American company for ordinary manufacturing tax credits and to avoid double taxation when foreign taxes on some profits have already been paid. So Senator Menendez – at the STate of the Union urging of the President – wants to single out U.S. companies for “special” treatment.
(Of note: Orrin Hatch voted for a similar tax hike back in December of 2007. Bob Bennett’s no vote was the margin by which it was defeated…)
Meanwhile, foreign oil producers like BP and Shell, and the national companies from Venezuela and Iran, get yet another competitive advantage.
What happens if we raise taxes on oil and gas producers? Well, you think four bucks a gallon is bad…
But even that is not enough for this administration. Now the SEC is looking to force those same U.S. oil producers (as a little known part of Dodd/Frank, naturally) to disclose sensitive competitive information about monies paid to foreign governments to the whole world – including those same foreign companies against which American producers compete! U.S. companies that are publicly traded would have to account publicly for every payment down to the level of individual well leases. No one is opposing transparency here, but to have an American bureaucracy impose this kind of regulation ONLY on publicly-traded, AMERICAN companies is yet another example of the wrong move at the wrong time. Disclose total payments to particular countries? No problem. To give away the store to Venezuela and Iran? That’s a problem.
Do the Obama-ites even realize who the really Big Players in the world oil market really are? You don’t get to companies like Exxon-Mobil till you’re way out of the Top Ten. To force U.S. producers to open their books to all their foreign competitors more than wrong-headed, it is insane.
It is just one more example of “Bureaucrats Gone Wild” under this administration – and one more explanation of four-dollar gas. If the Obama Administration gets its way on Menendez and Dodd/Frank disclosure, five bucks is just down the road.