As this country tries to reign in the deficit and increase employment, we need to maintain certain tax incentives that encourage businesses to stay open and maintain productivity. Therefore the federal government’s proposals to raise taxes on the oil and natural gas industries at this critical time for the economy is particularly ill advised.

I am not sure who is reading whose play book, but the governor proposed and received on his desk a bill that eliminates tax incentives which will result in increased private sector unemployment. We cannot afford to have the federal government follow suit, further disadvantaging private industry, the very backbone of America’s economy.

New taxes on our domestic energy industry unfairly targets U.S. refiners for higher taxes. This will give a leg up to foreign competitors who do not pay nearly as much, and are often government run. When our domestic refineries are put at a disadvantage in the global energy market through the high taxes that are a part of the Administration’s budget plan that soon translates into fewer jobs for our workers.

New energy taxes — such as repealing Section 199 of the tax code — are not the way to solve our economic problems. The jobs created in this industry are real, and benefit families in Colorado, the state, and the entire country. We must not make mistakes to further raise unemployment numbers. The President’s budget should reconsider repealing oil and gas industry tax incentives.

Dennis Hisey

El Paso County Commissioner