From the Wall Street Journal:
The Obama administration Thursday proposed raising at least $31.5 billion over 10 years from oil and gas companies, reflecting a repeal of tax breaks for domestic production and new charges on oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.
The plans, outlined as part of a fiscal 2010 budget proposal, revive long-standing Democratic efforts to turn to the oil and gas industry as a source of funding for other priorities. Among other things, the Obama budget plan calls for about $13 billion over 10 years in new charges on oil and gas companies from the repeal of a tax deduction for domestic production.
"It's a concerning area, of course, because as you put more royalty and tax burdens on the industry, particularly a cyclical industry, you just have to be cognizant of the potential impact it has on investments," said Marvin Odum, the president of Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. operations, after meetings with various lawmakers about energy policy. "That's not something you can put real definition to, but I think it's a concern."
Oil companies have been fighting to maintain the tax treatment, which they say keeps jobs in the U.S. by encouraging domestic production. Congress scaled back the tax deduction last year to help pay for an extension of tax breaks for the solar and wind industries, but stopped short of eliminating it entirely.
The Obama administration also proposed a new excise tax on oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, saying it would raise about $5 billion over the next 10 years. The White House said that the new tax, along with plans to charge user fees to oil companies for processing oil and gas drilling permits on federal lands, would "ensure that federal taxpayers receive their fair share" and "close loopholes that have given oil companies excessive royalty relief." The tax "will begin in 2011, after the economy has had time to recover," the White House said....MORE