Opinion: Tax Reform Plan Could Hurt MT Energy Industry

Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:23am

Rep. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, who chairs the Montana House Appropriations Committee, writes in the Billings (MT) Gazette: “A faction of congressional Democrats is pushing major tax changes aimed squarely at damaging our energy industry. That would have an immediate, negative impact in Montana where our job growth has been dependent, in large part, on the booming oil and gas development in Eastern Montana.”

“We often hear rhetoric about ‘subsidies’ received by traditional fossil fuel companies. Those claims are blatant mistruths. To be perfectly clear, there are no government subsidies for oil and gas producers. Certainly nothing like the government payouts received by companies involved in generating solar or wind power.”

The piece concludes: “It’s unfortunate that [Sen. Max] Baucus has to leave office before he is able to see his final, major policy objective completed. But he still has ample time to have a significant influence on the outcome for tax reform. The senator should make sure Montana’s priorities are protected by supporting fair tax policies across the board and not harming one of our most valuable industries.”