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Oil Industry a Vital Part of U.S. Economy

New Mexico is a leading producer of oil and natural gas in the United States. Almost 90,000 jobs are supported by the oil and gas industry, adding $8.3 billion to our state’s gross state product, or about 12 percent of our state’s wealth.

Presently, Congress is considering higher energy taxes that will threaten New Mexico’s energy industry. Higher energy taxes would discourage new development and cost us jobs and revenue that our state and our country desperately need.

In fact, the American Petroleum Institute estimates that hiking energy taxes would have the effect of decreasing energy production by thousands of barrels of oil and natural gas per day, not to mention costing America tens of thousands of jobs and billions in government revenue.

With these facts in mind I would like to encourage Sen. Tom Udall to support this incredible job-creating industry and defend it from increased taxes that would cause great harm.

Udall’s record is one of supporting policies that would harm New Mexico. He has supported cap-and-trade, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, maintaining the moratorium on drilling off our shores, shooting down proposals to facilitate the construction of new refineries on American soil, and opposing expanded oil and gas exploration and production in the United States.

That’s not investing in New Mexico and America’s future.

If Udall has his way and higher energy taxes are imposed on energy companies, we’ll be putting jobs and economic prosperity at risk.

The oil and natural gas industry already sends $86 million a day to the Treasury in income tax payments, rents and royalties. In fact, oil and gas companies pay more in corporate taxes than any other industrial sector.

And, few industries are more important to our economy. Oil and gas contributed $476 billion to the economy in 2010, supports over 9.2 million American jobs and invests 15 percent in our nation’s infrastructure.

If we can increase access to American energy resources, we can add 1.4 million new jobs to help drive down our unemployment rate. We can add more than 10 million barrels of oil per day to America’s available energy resources. We can add more than $800 billion in critical revenue to local, state and federal governments by 2030.

That’s what investing in America and New Mexico’s future looks like.

I hope that after reviewing the facts, Udall will reconsider his support for higher taxes on the American and New Mexico energy industry and realize how important the energy sector is to our future.