Just six months ago I felt extremely blessed to be employed as we emerged from what will hopefully be the worst recession we face in our lifetime. I was inspired when I heard the president say in his state of the union address that his number one priority for 2010 would be jobs. Now I am disappointed that Washington seems to think my job doesn’t fit into their equation , and the extreme measures they seem to be taking to eliminate it. I work as manager of corporate affairs for Energy XXI, an independent oil and gas company with operations in the Gulf of Mexico, and I am going to Washington DC this week to tell our political leaders that my job matters .
I have been with Energy XXI since its inception five years ago, and am proud of my job. We are one of the thousands of independent producers that provide energy to the entire country. The oil and gas industry directly and indirectly employs tens of thousands across the state of Texas, and millions nationally. Despite the president’s promises at the beginning of the year, and the fact that the production of our nation's domestic energy resources provides millions of jobs, Washington has instituted a devastating moratorium and hopes to nearly double the tax burden on the sector , benefiting foreign companies such as BP while destroying jobs here at home. This move is extremely puzzling considering that this legislation is being pushed forward on a wave of anti-BP sentiment in the country as a result of their spill. Yet they will benefit greatly if the measures go into effect, squeezing our bigger domestic companies out of the market and shutting down independent companies like my employer.
No wonder BP is being so cooperative and friendly with the federal government as the oil spill cleanup continues; they will be getting a de facto subsidy if the administration’s foreign income tax policies go into effect. American companies would become the only ones to be taxed abroad and at home on the same income. Pair this with the ongoing moratorium which is already destroying jobs, forcing rigs overseas, and increasing reliance on foreign oil, and you begin to see the war being waged by Washington on domestic energy producers.
For these reasons, I am headed to Washington DC to try to get some answers. Why are national policies that I fund with my taxes targeting the elimination of my job?