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"Gang of 10" Energy Proposal Fails to Deliver on Domestic Production, Taxpayer Group Says
For Immediate Release August 19, 2008
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) -- Though it seems to promise some additional domestic production, the "Gang of 10" energy scheme fails miserably to deliver on the will of two-thirds of Americans who want more petroleum exploration, according to the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU). Instead, it pays mere lip service to off-shore drilling while rehashing the counterproductive policies of subsidizing politically favored industries and punishing others with tax hikes -- ultimately raising prices for consumers.
"The proposal allows for extremely limited domestic energy exploration, but it appears to cement the now-temporary off-shore drilling ban permanently into statutory law, while only allowing four states -- Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia -- to opt in," NTU Government Affairs Manager Andrew Moylan said. "This is not even a half-hearted attempt at more drilling -- it's a quarter-hearted attempt."
The plan also would open up additional areas of the eastern Gulf of Mexico for energy development, but nothing on the resource-rich West Coast and nothing within a 50-mile "buffer zone" off the four states' shores, thereby blocking the cultivation of substantial resources, Moylan noted.
The Gang of 10 also proposes subsidies for so-called "alternative energy" programs such as biofuels, further mandates for the use of "cleaner-burning vehicles," and the imposition of punitive tax hikes on domestic oil and gas companies precisely when America needs more production -- not less.
The bill would cost an estimated $85 billion -- $30 billion of which would be "offset" by tax hikes on the oil and gas industry. "The source of funding for the remaining $55 billion has yet to be determined, but will likely take the form of tax hikes elsewhere that will only further harm the American economy and family budgets," Moylan stated.
"Instead of concocting ineffective political 'compromises,' a better course would be to repeal the domestic exploration ban now, in its entirety, and speed leasing efforts both on- and off-shore," Moylan said. "This method would actually promise substantial supplies down the road and would not perpetuate any of the tax-and-spend proposals that have wasted so many taxpayer dollars over the past 30-plus years."
"Hard-pressed American families should recognize this 'compromise' for what it really is: the same-old broken package wrapped up with a bipartisan bow," Moylan concluded.
NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information on NTU's energy policy, visit www.ntu.org or www.nonewenergytaxes.com.