Oil and Gas Industry Faced with Dilemma
Fears, Ronda, THE JOURNAL RECORD
"The (budget) summiteers are likely to put together a package, and I think it's reasonably assured that if they do, there will be some major energy taxes," said Wayne Gibbens, president of the General Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association in Washington, D.C.
He spoke at the annual meeting of the Oklahoma-Kansas Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association in Oklahoma City, which concluded Wednesday.
"Notwithstanding what happens (in the way of domestic drilling incentives)," Gibbens said, "we're in jeopardy."
History shows, he said, that in the face of crises, American government tends to impose more controls rather than let the free market work. That is most unpalatable to politicians when energy prices rise.
"Unfortunately, the crux of the problem is higher energy costs. We have an economy based on cheap energy," said William O. Pitts, president of the Oklahoma-Kansas association.
"We have a dilemma. Congress and the (Bush) Administration are unwilling to accept the fact that a national energy policy will not succeed unless it is based, in part, on higher energy costs. Whether it is oil, (natural) gas, coal, nuclear, solar, or any other forms of energy, the United States cannot reach energy sufficiency without being willing to pay the price."
As it is, with oil prices increasing dramatically since Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2 to an all-time futures high of nearly $34 a barrel, Pitts said, "Today, the industry in Oklahoma is simply playing it on a day-to-day basis. …