Biden again attacks industry with 'Inflation Exacerbation Act'

Aug 14, 2022

Ben Shepperd, Midland Reporter-Telegram | August 14th, 2022With each day that passes, the Biden administration continues to find new and inventive ways to attack the oil and gas industry, create greater economic volatility and somehow still find room to blame energy producers for scarcity and high prices.

The most recent economic numbers from July 2022 continue to illustrate the disastrous lack of energy or economic policy. At best, “core inflation” which excludes volatile energy and food, Americans are paying 5.9% more over the last year. But since Americans spend most of their incomes on food and energy, the more relevant “headline inflation” amounts to a whopping 8.5% year over year.

Despite the administration’s best efforts to characterize this as great improvement, Americans recognize that “not getting worse” is not the same as meaningful improvement.

This is before considering the impacts of the “Inflation Reduction Act” (“IRA”) that Congress is steering toward passage. According to Richard Stern at The Heritage Foundation, “the bill will likely increase near term inflation, depress household incomes and produce long-term deficits that fuel long-term inflation.”

That’s in addition to independent industry analysis from the American Petroleum Institute that shows provisions could impose an $11.7 billion tax on crude oil and petroleum products and a new $6.3 billion natural gas tax. The same domestically produced natural gas that has done (and can do) more to reduce carbon emissions the world over than any act of Congress by offsetting other, less clean, burning fuels.

Regardless of those very real costs, we are disappointed the administration continues to chase public policy unicorns that don’t provide relief from the tax that is inflation, creeping its way into American household budgets.

Americans need and deserve real considerations that will improve their way of life and not just mitigate the damaging policy coming from the halls of Washington D.C. While employers across the country continue to struggle to find employees because of the continued impacts of regulatory red-tape, lawmakers now want to hire around 87,000 new IRS auditors. This inflection point could not be clearer, the American government is currently the greatest challenge to economic growth and there is no end in sight.

Our members are, by nature, doers. They don’t wait for others to decide for them. They look across the expansive landscape across the Permian Basin and put their hearts, minds and hands to work. Despite constant pressures from regulators, oil and gas operators have continued to fight the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and constant attacks for the product that America and our allies need most.

As we have said for months, our members continue to be part of the solution in these tough economic times and aim to be partners in solving energy issues around the globe. We are proud of the work done here in the Permian Basin that demonstrates that partnership and PBPA will continue to fight so that generations can continue to safely and responsibly develop our regions natural resources.