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Press Release


Citizen Group Launches Full-Throttle Campaign to Fight New Energy Taxes

For Immediate Release July 21, 2010
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

     (Alexandria, VA) – Radio buys and print ads are part of a major effort the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) unveiled today to combat newly proposed energy taxes which, according to the nonpartisan citizen group, would harm American consumers and hand a competitive advantage to foreign oil and gas firms.

     "This is as perverse as it gets.  The U.S. Congress is proposing tax hikes that would punish American energy companies, raise the price of oil to consumers, and effectively reward foreign-owned firms," NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp said.  "At a time when our economy most needs a jobs-based recovery, this short-sighted policy makes the least sense."

     Elements of the NTU campaign include: Major radio advertising on five national talk shows (including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity), print ads in key publications, and grassroots mobilization of NTU's e-mail and text-message networks of concerned citizens.

     The changes to the tax law are expected to be included in the Senate's consideration of a Gulf oil spill clean-up bill.  One such provision, Sepp noted, would rewrite "dual capacity" rules and forbid U.S. energy producers from taking credits against U.S. taxes on their income generated overseas.  Foreign jurisdictions already tax this income significantly.  In addition, the proposed repeal of the widely available domestic manufacturing income deduction (known as Section 199) – for oil and gas producers only – amounts to arbitrary tax policy.

     "Ironically, if the Senate's scheme passes, U.S. companies could be forced to move to safer tax harbors, costing the U.S. Treasury billions in revenue," Sepp said.  "Meanwhile, firms like BP, Hugo Chavez's Citgo, and China's CNOOC would have far less trouble coping with Congress's new edicts. In a way, the bill would help bail out BP from its problems by giving it an edge in the marketplace."

     U.S. energy producers are already at a significant disadvantage internationally for a number of reasons: most energy reserves are owned by much larger, state-run oil companies; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) does not apply to non-U.S. firms; and more stringent U.S. environmental and safety regulations add cost burdens. Harsh tax policies can make this disadvantage much worse.

     "This could be the last major tax-hike battle before the fall, and we must make certain lawmakers hear loudly and clearly from Americans who are fed-up with Washington's tax-and-spend mentality," Sepp concluded. "That's why NTU is giving its all in this vital battle."

NTU was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. For further energy policy analysis, visit www.ntu.org or text "FIGHT" to 67292.

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