President Obama used his weekly address of April 23 to discuss creation of a federal task force to investigate what he called ‘cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets” and repeated his call to end ‘the $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies we give to the oil and gas companies each year.”
The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) took exception to the president’s remarks, and issued the following response by its president, Charles T. Drevna:
‘American consumers are not benefitting by President Obama’s continuing attacks on American companies that produce oil and natural gas and that manufacture fuels and petrochemicals. While these attacks may be good politics in the view of some, they make it harder for these companies to serve the American people with proven, reliable and affordable products.
‘The most effective action the federal government could take to help American consumers deal with high energy costs would be to allow increased use of our own abundant domestic energy resources and lift burdensome environmental regulations that destroy jobs, keep us reliant on foreign energy supplies, and have no real environmental benefit.
‘Past investigations of energy prices by the Federal Trade Commission and state agencies have generated headlines but little else. They have failed to find any evidence of price-gouging or other fraud, though these findings have received far less attention. We hope this will not be the case when the findings of the new investigation are in. We ask that the findings of these investigations be trumpeted with the same fanfare that was demonstrated in calling for them. At that time, we stand ready to join the Justice Department at the podium.
‘The so-called ‘oil and gas subsidies’ that President Obama speaks of do not exist. Companies that produce oil and natural gas and manufacture fuels and petrochemicals get tax deductions, as every American company does. But these are not subsidies. President Obama advocates discriminatory tax increases on these companies, which would lead to increased energy costs, increased unemployment of U.S. workers, and reduced production of domestic oil, natural gas and fuels.”