Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oil Industry Sees Economic, Security Threats from Prices

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oil Industry Sees Economic, Security Threats from Prices

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Oil industry representatives told Congress Friday that the plunge in oil prices exposes the United States "to disruptive economic and security threats more serious than any development short of war."

Key parts of any solution, most segments of the industry agreed, are a new tax on imported oil - which would boost consumer energy prices - and increases in several income tax breaks.

Energy futures were higher Friday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled 2 cents to 9 cents higher with the March contract at $18.75 a barrel. Heating oil was .20 cent to .73 cent higher with February at 52.22 cents a gallon. Unleaded gasoline was .05 cent to .48 cent higher with February at 49.91 cents a gallon.

Witnesses before the Senate Finance subcommittee on energy traxation blamed problems of the U.S. oil industry on policies of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America said that because of OPEC, "the United States has lost control of its energy future." association spokesman George Singer of Tulsa said that within two years, the United States will be dependent on foreign oil for more than half its needs.

"The nation and the American people are therefore exposed to disruptive economic and security threats more serious than any development short of war," he said.

"America - once the fuel tank of democracy - has been hit squarely by an intercontinental-caliber economic missile launched from foreign shores," said Mack Wallace, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission.

"In my judgment, imposition of a variable fee on imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products would truly go a long way toward repelling OPEC's recent Saudi-led assault and toward enabling the producing industry in this country to rehabilitate itself - and thereby benefit the nation," Wallace said.

A special tax on imported oil is part of a package sponsored by Sen. …

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