Letter: Sector the solution, not the problem

08 09, 2012 by The Advocate

President Barack Obama and his allies have long since declared open season on the oil and gas industry. They charge that these companies rake in huge profits but don’t pay their fair share to promote economic growth. That’s simply false. As a resident of Louisiana and daughter of a petroleum engineer, I’m well aware of the tax and regulation increases bestowed on the oil-and-gas industry year after year.

The charge that oil-and-gas companies don’t contribute to our economy is groundless. These businesses support millions of jobs — many right here in Louisiana — and when other industries went to the federal government for bailouts a few years back, so-called “Big Oil” was still putting tax revenue into the U.S. Treasury.

Today, oil-and-gas companies pay tax rates higher than nearly every other sector — an effective rate of more than 41 percent, compared to an average of 26.5 percent throughout the S&P industrial index, according to the Wall Street Journal. Critics also omit that oil-and-gas companies put a good part of their profits to work in our economy. A report by the Progressive Policy Institute positions energy businesses at the top of its list of “investment heroes” with more than $36 billion invested throughout our country in 2011.

Those who blame oil-and-gas businesses for not doing more to spur the economy should look instead at this administration’s failed energy policies. They put our country’s energy security and economic stability at risk every day.

Emily Davenport

public relations consultant
Baton Rouge