Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jobs v. Environment

Posted on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 4:00 AM

In the last several years, Montanans, like citizens across the United States, have become more and more concerned about the economy and the availability of good- paying jobs here at home. However, Sens. Baucus and Tester, along with obstructive environmentalist groups, fail to recognize that the key to increasing the number of good paying jobs in our state is the development of our natural resources, such as oil and natural gas.

Montanans are in need of the good-paying, stable jobs that the energy industry can provide. Why then do Sens. Baucus and Tester want to increase taxes on U.S. energy companies?

Both of our senators will be voting on two proposed tax hikes following the November election. One of these increases will repeal Section 199 of the tax code that allows businesses to receive a tax credit for production related costs while the other will repeal the “dual capacity” foreign income tax credit given to companies that have to pay income taxes to our foreign competitors. By increasing taxes on energy companies, our senators can expect ratepayers across Montana will be forced to cover the increased cost of production to energy companies—a cost that right now Montanans simply cannot afford.

Even worse is the fact that the tax increases on the energy industry that both Sens. Baucus and Tester recently voted for will harm job growth and decrease the jobs available for future generations. Many of our state’s best and brightest are being forced to seek employment in other states with higher paying jobs. By voting to increase taxes on the energy industry, our senators are just exacerbating the problem.

Sens. Baucus and Tester need to get their priorities straight: The health and well-being of the Montana economy is more important than honing their political capital with environmental groups.

Shelby F. DeMars

Helena

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