Poll: Voters Reject New Taxes on Oil, Natural Gas

By Jane Van Ryan

Voters in ten states oppose higher taxes on America’s oil and natural gas industry by a 2-to-1 margin, according to a new poll released today.

The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive for API in ten states, found that 64 percent of registered voters oppose an increase, including 46 percent of voters who strongly oppose.

Only 27 percent support increasing taxes. The poll was conducted via telephone between July 15 and July 18 among 6,000 registered voters.

“Voters know raising taxes on an industry that provides most of their energy and supports more than 9.2 million jobs would hurt them and damage the economy,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “Raising taxes doesn’t address their major concern, which is putting people back to work.”

Both the administration and some members of Congress have proposed imposing billions of dollars in new taxes on the oil and natural gas industry. But the poll found that those surveyed believe the two most important issues for the federal government to address are the economy and job creation. National polls from Gallup, CBS News and Bloomberg have reported similar results.

“With 15 million people out of work, now is not the time to be imposing more taxes,” Jack said. “The fact that the proposals are being pushed under the guise of addressing the oil spill in the Gulf doesn’t make them any better.”

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the U.S. oil and natural gas industry paid almost $100 billion in federal income taxes in 2008. As this video shows, the industry’s effective tax rate is much higher than the average for all other industries.

Harris Interactive conducted the polling in Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia. The individual state polling results are available here.

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