Reagan Actions Have Hurt Domestic Oil Producers / Says Trade Organization

THE JOURNAL RECORD, December 31, 1986 | Go to article overview

Reagan Actions Have Hurt Domestic Oil Producers / Says Trade Organization


WASHINGTON (AP) - Several Reagan administration actions have hurt domestic oil producers the head of the largest trade organization in the petroleum industry said Tuesday.

The president hurt by signing the omnibus tax revision bill and the Superfund toxic waste dump cleanup renewal bill and the secretary of the interior hurt by delaying leasing federal waters off California, complained Charles DiBona, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

"Our concern is the apparent lack of understanding in the administration for the implications of what is going on today," DiBona said at a news conference called to issue an institute study of oil imports.

That study reasserted the institute position that continued low oil prices will mean increased imports and declining U.S. production.

It predicted effective pricing power over world oil by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies will resume when 80 percent of OPEC production capacity is used.

OPEC is producing at about 65 percent of capacity now and DiBona repeated earlier predictions that the 80 percent level would be reached in three to six years.

He said he could not predict whether the short-term price of oil, close to $15 a barrel most of the fall, would stick at the new OPEC target price of $18. Current prices are about $17.50. A year ago, they were around $28; in July they were below $10.

The Superfund bill imposed new annual taxes of $2.75 billion on crude oil and continued $1.4 billion in taxes on petrochemicals. DiBona said these were far larger than the industry's responsibility for toxic wastes would justify.

In addition, the overall tax revision law increased his industry's taxes by $10 billion over five years.

Interior Secretary Donald P. Hodel has delayed until 1989 a scheduled 1988 offering of leases in waters off northern California that are now off-limits to drillers.

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