Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Floor on Oil Prices Stands No Chance / Says Association

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Floor on Oil Prices Stands No Chance / Says Association

Article excerpt

Independent oilmen have a friend in President-elect George Bush, but they cannot expect legislation of minimum oil prices, said Danny Conklin, chairman of the board of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

"There is no chance of a floor on prices," Conklin said. "(President) Reagan said he is not going to do a thing about it. Bush said there will be no import fee. I don't know if they've convinced anybody else, but they've damned sure convinced me."

Conklin's message, delivered Tuesday to a gathering of petroleum producers at the Sheraton Century Hotel, contradicted a bill introduced by Sen. Glenn English, D-Okla. That bill, presented Monday, seeks import fees on imported crude oil and an $18 minimum price per barrel.

When former board chairman Raymond H. Hefner Jr., president of Bon Ray Drilling Co. interrupted Conklin to inform him of the proposal, Conklin curtly replied "I have no comment, whether supportive or not supportive."

Despite a number of trade associations endorsing an import tax, the IPAA has steadfastly opposed it.

"Speaking with a unified tongue," however, was the gist of the meeting as staffers and lobbyists introduced themselves, gave brief talks on key political issues and touted the benefits of joining the 6,000-member organization that nine years ago boasted 8,000 among its ranks.

Announcing a Feb. 1 deadline for "a bill we are all together on," Conklin said the association's staff was busy hammering out a strategy to reduce taxes and provide enhancement for oil recovery programs.

"By the end of February, we will be ready and loaded for bear with an energy tax proposal that is supported entirely by the industry," he said.

Jim Groninger, senior government relations director and secretary to the tax and crude oil committees touted an IPAA victory in connection with the 1988 repeal of the windfall profits tax and the ability to expense intangible drilling costs. …

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