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In a 1937 song, George Gerswhin sings the memorable line, “you say tomayto, I say tomahto” — highlighting the differences in two characters’ interpretation of the same word. That came to mind as I reviewed the latest budget set to go before the Louisiana Legislature this year. In an effort to shore up the deficit, this budget attempts to convert 12 tax credits from “refundable” to “non-refundable.” Most notably, this includes the inventory tax credit program and the ad valorem credit for offshore vessels. A debate sprung forth as to whether or not this should be viewed as a tax increase on business.
Proponents of this budgetary move claim it is revenue neutral; the business community says otherwise. Let me explain.
I have to believe gas prices dropping below $2 just before the Christmas holidays took everybody by surprise and was seen as a gift to many of our wallets. After all, according to www.LouisianaGasPrices.com, Louisiana residents haven’t seen gas prices that low since 2008. Who could blame us for doing a little happy dance thinking about all the money we would save filling up each week?
After that initial excitement wore off though, I couldn’t help but think about how this latest price dip emphasizes the importance of the energy industry’s long-term investments in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
After reading John Barry’s latest rambling in The Advocate, I felt compelled to respond and set the record straight. Once again he erroneously calls out the industry association where I serve as president — the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association — and a 1989 report we commissioned and issued.
The actual point of the study mentioned had nothing to do with Barry’s assertion, and is actually limited to three specific sites not even in the jurisdiction of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. Furthermore, the study expressly outlines, “This study did not compare wetland loss rates in channelized and non-channelized reference areas[.]”
U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown's dismissal of a flood board's federal lawsuit was greeted with guarded optimism by the major oil and gas associations this morning.
It seems appropriate that President Barack Obama released his latest budget proposal on Groundhog Day.
In every year of his administration, he has attempted to impose the same onerous, damaging tax increases on America’s oil and gas industry. I call it the “copy-and-paste” method. Thankfully, Congress and the American people have repeatedly recognized the importance of the oil and gas industry and soundly rejected his proposal.
However, even I was taken aback by his latest antics. As the curtain continues to close on his presidency, he sent the most resounding strike to the oil and gas industry to date.