API: G-20 Deal on 'Fossil Fuel Subsidies' Raises Questions

The American Petroleum Institute issued the following statement Friday from President Jack Gerard on the G-20 agreement on eliminating "fossil fuel subsidies'":

"The Obama administration and Congress now face many difficult choices if they choose to comply with the G-20 commitment to phase-out 'fossil fuel subsidies.'

"Above all else, the president and Congress should not use this commitment as an excuse to raise energy taxes on American consumers and businesses. Does the president really think it wise to eliminate tax provisions that encourage investment in technology and exploration and development and would likely constrict future energy supplies, raise energy costs and kill jobs?

"The pledge made to the G-20 also raises questions about the administration's commitments to vitally important energy programs. Will the White House ultimately cut the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and deny our most vulnerable citizens winter heat? Will they eliminate the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and undermine America's energy security? And what about the Highway Trust Fund?

"What America really needs is energy from all sources -- including renewables and oil and natural gas -- to fuel its economy and remain competitive in global markets. According to the Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels account for 83 percent of total domestic energy demand. As our nation attempts to stimulate an economic recovery, now is not the time to lay on new taxes that would stifle job creation and growth.

"According to a recent study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the oil and natural gas industry supports 9.2 million jobs and in 2007 supported economic activity that contributed 7.5 percent to the gross domestic product. It simply makes no sense to raise taxes that threaten those jobs and undermine one of our nation's vital economic engines at a time when America needs energy from all sources to fuel a recovery."