To the Editor:
I am appalled that Congress is considering tax increases for domestic oil and natural gas companies in this terrible economy, and after all we have been through. Any legislation that negatively affects the energy industry harms the people of Louisiana and impacts towns like Lafayette, which has been decimated by the recent slowdown.
The drilling moratorium should have made this perfectly clear to our lawmakers, but now proposed changes in tax policy threaten our local economies further. Our community cannot deal with more business closings and job losses. In a recent study by LSU economist Dr. Joseph Mason, he estimates that the energy tax changes being proposed by the Obama administration would result in the loss of over 154,000 jobs across America next year.
Here in Louisiana, that translates to over $30 billion in lost economic output and $5.5 billion in lost wages between 2011 and 2020. But it doesn't require an economist to understand that our whole country would lose because higher taxes would lead to less energy investment and production and would strengthen our foreign competitors. Higher taxes would also lead to price increases for consumers, and are a lose-lose proposition that our leaders must oppose.