While Democrats and the White House are celebrating their passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, one opposed by every one of Oklahoma’s U.S. Representatives and Senators, the impact on the state’s oil and gas industry and across the U.S. is coming.
All it takes is for President Biden to sign it into law.
As the American Petroleum Institute pointed out after the Friday vote of 220-207, the Act falls well short of addressing America’s long-term energy needs and “further discourages needed investment in oil and gas.”
How much will the Act hurt the oil and gas industry? It includes a new corporate minimum tax as well as an $11.7 billion tax on crude oil and petroleum products, not to mention a new natural gas tax.
“—this legislation imposes additional costs on American families and businesses at a time when policymakers should be looking for solutions to provide relief,” said the API in reaction to House approval.
The API as well as dozens of oil and gas groups from across the U.S. urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to do more to help the nation’s fossil fuel industry rather than destroy it.
Among the 60 groups that signed onto a letter sent to the Speaker were the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association (KIOGA), New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA), Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW), and Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
The letter fell on deaf ears and when it came time to vote on Friday, Oklahoma Reps. Bice, Cole, Hern, Lucas and Mullin opposed it.
“In the midst of a recession, crushing inflation, and historic gas prices, Democrats forced a partisan bill that will increase taxes on Americans and push their far-left agenda. The so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ will do nothing to reduce inflation. Instead, it will hike taxes by $16.7 billion for those earning less than $200,000,” stated Rep. Stephanie Bice.
Rep. Tom Cole took to the House floor to argue against it.
“This bill comes before us in a process that I can only describe as lousy. No committee of jurisdiction in either the Senate or the House has dealt with this bill as written. No House member has had any meaningful input in this legislation. The reality is this bill was negotiated in backrooms by two Senators and rammed through the Senate on a partisan vote. My friends have picked it up without changing it, without considering it and are going to ram it through here today. That’s a process that they ought to be embarrassed by,” said Cole.
Rep. Kevin Hern was against it too.
“—no one wants this bill. No one believes the White House’s lies, because we can read it for ourselves and see that this legislation will raise taxes on Americans in every tax bracket. Never in our history has the federal government responded to a recession by raising taxes. It will only increase the hardships on Americans, with 87,000 new IRS agents to target middle- and working-class families.”
Rep. Frank Lucas made this argument.
“As misguided as the bill is, the Inflation Reduction Act will not reduce inflation. In fact, according to economic analyses and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill will have little to no impact on inflation. The bill, however, will raise taxes and fees on Oklahoma oil and gas companies, increase energy prices for consumers, set an irresponsible precedent for farm bill programs, thwart medical innovation, and raise taxes on American companies who serve as generators of economic opportunity and growth.”
Congressman Markwayne Mullin pointed to the dangerous effects of what the Democrats just did.
“House Democrats have passed another tax and spend spree that will drive our nation further into a recession and make American energy less affordable, less reliable, and less secure. The provisions in this bill total $599 billion worth of tax increases, including billions on small business owners, seniors, energy producers, and middle-class Americans. This is a dangerous bill for Oklahoma and it’s a dangerous bill for our country.”
He also claimed the measure’s $6.5 billion natural gas tax will raise energy costs for working class Americans by 17%.