/PRNewswir/ -- Fifty independent energy industry representatives joined U.S. Senator John Cornyn (TX) and former Congressman John Peterson at a Capitol Hill press conference to urge the Obama Administration and Members of Congress to lift the moratorium on energy exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and resist efforts to raise taxes on U.S. energy companies. The event, which took place this morning, was organized by Save U.S. Energy Jobs, a project of the American Energy Alliance.
"My job matters," Thomas Clements a small business owner from Broussard, Louisiana, said. "So I've come to Washington to find somebody to hear me, to see my hopelessness, my no-man's-land that I'm in because of these proposed tax changes to the energy industry and the moratorium. I hope that Congress listens to us and protects American jobs."
Thomas and his wife, Melissa, are co-owners of Oilfield CNC Machining. They opened their business at the end of 2008 with a focus on producing quality metal parts for oilfield equipment used on offshore drilling rigs. With a year under their belts, the Clements were hoping that 2010 would be a breakout year for their new company. They were looking to hire more workers and expand their facility workspace. Although the oil spill in April 2010 and the initial 30-day moratorium put a damper on things, they weren't going to let that keep them down. But when the six month moratorium was issued their business came to a complete halt. Every order was cancelled. Now they are worried that taxes on American energy companies could harm the entire U.S. energy industry.
The Clements are just one tragic story.
Today more than fifty Gulf area residents came to Washington to share their perspectives. They're here to tell their representatives, "My Job Matters" and to ask their elected officials to lift the moratorium on energy exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and to not support changes to the tax code that would unfairly harm American energy companies.
According to a recent study released by Louisiana State University professor Dr. Joseph Mason, the six month moratorium will cost the Gulf region more than 8,000 jobs and more than $2.1 billion in economic activity. And if the moratorium is extended - the consequences could be much, much worse.
In addition to the current moratorium, President Obama and Members of Congress have not ruled out extending the moratorium and have also suggested repealing two provisions of the tax code that would raise taxes on U.S. based energy companies. One of these taxes would amount to a double taxation on American energy companies, hurting U.S. companies and acting as a de-facto bailout to foreign owned ones. Policymakers are also considering raising the cap on liabilities for energy companies - making their work unsustainable. Any of these new laws would do irreparable harm to American energy companies, raise the price of energy for consumers, weaken our nation's energy security, and kill U.S. jobs.
"In an economy like this, the President and Congress should be looking for ways to strengthen U.S. businesses, not weaken them," Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, said. "I'm proud that these hardworking small business owners are fighting for American energy jobs."
Following the press conference, the Gulf Coast residents fanned out across Capitol Hill to meet with their representatives in Congress and staffs.
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