Dear “Gang of 10”:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations representing hundreds of thousands of taxpayers, small businesses, shareholders, consumers and senior citizens, we strongly urge you and your colleagues to consider the below concerns and redraft the bipartisan Senate energy plan to prevent further harm to the U.S. economy and its citizens.

We commend the Senate’s attempts to find a bipartisan solution to Americans energy needs. Further, we are pleased with the removal of anti-“speculation” measures which save the marketplace from unwarranted government intervention and show confidence and support for the American investor.

However, the current state of the proposal contains several potentially fatal flaws. The most glaring of which is the lack of certainty that the current proposed measures will not raise taxes on the American people. Sound energy policy should contain fiscally responsible measures that will actually result in lower prices – not penalties to the taxpayer. Why allow room for a tax increase when Americans are already paying so much at the pump?

Additionally, in a time when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has expressed willingness to allow a vote on Outer Continental Shelf drilling, your proposal only permits four states to opt-in to oil leasing off their shores – retaining all regulatory powers at the federal level. It is not the job of the federal government to regulate the leasing of state waters and control when, where and how energy exploration can occur. The bill, by barring any drilling within 50 miles of the coast leaves much of the most productive OCS areas off limits. How will this create more supply and lower prices?

Any legislation which rejects proposals to expand oil and gas drilling, and other energy development on federal lands, prevents progress towards lessening America’s dependence on foreign oil. Only 32 percent of all oil and 35 percent of all natural gas produced in the United States comes from federal lands and waters. While other nations utilize their domestic oil and gas resources to boost their economies, this proposed energy package places heavy federal restrictions on offshore drilling and continues bans on drilling in ANWR and on domestic shale oil and gas.

As you know, the Congressional bans on offshore drilling and oil shale production expire at the stroke of midnight on Oct.1, which would increase American energy production far more than the compromise you have suggested. Rather than saddling American energy producers and consumers with billions of dollars in higher taxes, a wiser solution is to allow these bans on American energy production to expire as scheduled – and to oppose any effort to sneak an extension of these bans into any last-minute spending bills.

Further, this proposal will serve to stifle the much needed investment in all areas of energy production. The provision to discriminatively repeal Section 199 of the tax code for energy companies takes away capital that would otherwise be reinvested domestically. This means fewer American jobs while companies pass their costs (imposed by the repeal of Section 199) onto the consumer at the pump.

Promoting the use of alternative energy by limiting access to new domestic energy sources of oil and natural gas AND imposing new taxes on the U.S. oil and gas industry will not help supply stable and affordable energy to satisfy the demands of American consumers.

Moreover, the new taxes targeted at the U.S. oil and gas industry will even further reduce our nation’s energy security by discouraging new domestic energy production and discouraging new investment in refinery capacity. The results of the perverse incentives will tilt the competitive playing field for global energy resources against the United States and toward our foreign competitors.

This bill oversteps the bounds of government in micromanaging the will of private industry. Support for a comprehensive, bipartisan energy solution must not hinge on the unrealistic proposed fuel standards. Congress cannot be allowed to dictate corporate production models by requiring 85 percent of vehicles to run on non-petroleum-based fuel in 20 years. Studies show that increasing fuel standards to such extremes force manufacturers to produce lighter cars, exposing Americans to greater risk as road deaths increase to 8,000 per mile for each gallon gained in fuel economy.

Energy legislation should not attempt to define the market by creating “winners” and “losers”, but should institute sound, fiscally-responsible legislation that will decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil and protect American jobs.

We strongly urge you to reconsider your proposal by incorporating the aforementioned principles. Currently, your proposal directly interferes with a free-market economy and will increase the financial costs that already overburden the American people.


Brian M Johnson
Executive Director
Alliance for Worker Freedom

David Keane
American Conservative Union

Linda Runbeck
American Property Coalition

Tim Phillips
Americans for Prosperity

Jim Pfaff
State Director
Americans for Prosperity of Colorado

Dustin Gawrylow
State Policy Director
Americans for Prosperity of ND

Mark Chmura
Executive Director
Americans for the Preservation of Liberty

Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Ryan L Ellis
Executive Director
American Shareholders Association

David Anderson, Ph.D.

Brad Bergh
Caesar Rodney Institute

Sandra Fabry
Executive Director
Center for Fiscal Accountability

Jeffrey Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Chuck Muth
Citizen Outreach
Marita K. Noon
Executive Director
Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy

Francis J. Faulkner
Associate Director
Citizens for Limited Taxation of MA

Joel C. Mandelman
Clean Oceans Technology Coalition

Pat Toomey
Club for Growth

Ken Blackwell
Coalition for a Conservative Majority

Doug Bandow
Bastiat Scholar in Free Enterprise
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Dowd Muska
Connecticut Center-Right Coalition

Thomas Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Richard Watson
Florida Center-Right Coalition

Corey Miltimore
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Max Pappas
Vice President, Public Policy

George Landrith
Frontiers of Freedom

Louie Hunter
Georgia Center-Right Coalition

Jamie Story
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

James Wagoner
Maui Coordinator
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Richard Rowland
Hawaii Center-Right Coalition

Greg Blankinship
President & Founder
Illinois Policy Institute

Richard W. Rahn
Institute for Global Economic Growth

Andrew Langer
Institute for Liberty

Dr. Don Racheter
Iowa Center-Right Coalition

Collin Hanna
Let Freedom Ring

Lowman S. Henry
Chairman & CEO
Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research Inc.

Richard Falknor
Maryland Center-Right Coalition

Forest Thigpen
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Peter Flaherty
National Legal and Policy Center

Duane Parde
National Taxpayers Union

Bruce E. A. Larsen
New Mexico-Santa Fe Center-Right Coalition

Mickey D. Barnett
New Mexico-Albuquerque Center-Right Coalition

William J. Felkner
Ocean State Policy Research Institute

Kelsey Zahourek
Executive Director
Property Rights Alliance

Erick-Woods Erickson

William Haygood Shaker
Voluntary President

Dr. William Greene

Paul J. Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

William Haygood Shaker
Voluntary President
Rule of Law Committee

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Sam Sloan
Small Business Hawaii

Jason Williams
State Director
Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Phil Krinkie
Taxpayers League of Minnesota

Cathie Adams
Texas Eagle Forum
TX National Committeewoman-elect

J. Robert McClure, III
President and CEO
The James Madison Institute

Amy Ridenour
National Center for Public Policy Research

C. Preston Noell III
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Bill Barton
Vice Chairman
Utah Grass Roots

Jim Martin
60 Plus Association

Alan B. Smith, Executive Director
American Legislative Exchange Counsel

Eric Odom
#dontgo Movement

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