Increasing gas, oil taxes could sabotage recovery

Some proposals would repeal provisions in the tax code, which — exactly as Congress intended — are stimulating domestic energy development, spurring job creation and bolstering economic growth. In fact, based on industry employment data from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, these provisions helped the U.S. oil and natural gas industry employ an additional 1.9 million Americans between 2004 and 2007. Other proposals would repeal existing protections against double taxation of foreign profits, critical to maintaining the global competitiveness of U.S. companies.

Critics like to highlight the total amount of tax credits that go to the oil and natural gas industry, but this simply reflects the size of the industry, not unfair tax advantages. According to the latest data, the industry paid almost $100 billion in federal income taxes in 2008 — and, in 2009, had an effective average tax rate of 48.4 percent compared with 28.1 percent for other S&P industrial companies.