A message from your friendly neighborhood petro-giant
A message from your friendly neighborhood petro-giant.
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“I think taxing the oil and gas industry does nothing but harm the country.”

And with that doublespeak, doublespoken by some actor, the American Petroleum Institute opens one of two new television ads it is about to begin screening around Washington, D.C. The advertisements are shot to make it look like ordinary folk are worried that higher taxes on the country’s energy giants would hurt their ordinary families.

The planned advertising blitz is part of a desperate and dishonest bid by the energy sector to cling to its billions in annual tax breaks. President Barack Obama and other Democrats want to strip some of those tax breaks away from oil and gas companies, which are among the most profitable, price-gouging, Earth-destroying, and environmentally irresponsible companies operating today.

The way the institute’s actors read their lines while staring into the camera, you’d be forgiven for mistaking these thieving energy companies for married suburban couples sitting around their fireplaces with their 2.3 kids playing Monopoly and saying prayers.

“It is not a tax on the energy industry,” some other actor says. “It’s a tax on families.”

From The Hill:

With the proposed Senate and House budgets released this week and President Obama’s coming next month, API Executive Vice President Marty Durbin said the industry must remind policymakers that “punitive tax schemes kill jobs and decrease revenues to the federal government over the long term.” …

Durbin reiterated API’s willingness to discuss the tax breaks in the context of broad tax reform. He didn’t elaborate on any concessions the industry might make.

Durbin said he felt Capitol Hill sentiment was swinging in the oil-and-gas industry’s favor, noting fewer legislative proposals to nix the tax provisions were making the rounds.

Lies about how terrible it would be for energy companies to pay higher taxes will soon be coming from more directions. From Fuel Fix:

API isn’t the only group joining the fray. The National Taxpayers Union on Wednesday launched a separate radio and print advertising campaign that also argues against raising taxes on the oil and gas industry.

One NTU print ad warns that “singling out America’s energy industry (won’t) solve the budget crisis” and highlights the section 199 domestic manufacturing deduction, which applies broadly to American businesses, even though recent proposals aim to repeal it just for oil companies.

National Taxpayers Union Executive Vice President Pete Sepp criticized “punitive tax increases on politically convenient targets like the energy industry.”

“Pursuing stale old plans for discriminatory tax hikes on oil and gas would be a big step backward for many kinds of fiscal reforms, which is why NTU is speaking out so early and emphatically,” Sepp said.

Watch the Orwellian grotesqueness for yourself. Then rinse out your brain with bleach: