Report: Oil & Gas Industry Asked Fallin For 'Peace & Quiet' Instead Of Tax Increase
As the state struggled with ways to fill a budget hole last year, the oil and gas industry urged Gov. Mary Fallin to keep a gross production tax increase off the legislative agenda, according to emails obtained by The Frontier.
John Dill, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for Chesapeake Energy Corp., asked Fallin to keep any tax increase for the oil and gas industry out of a call for a second special session to plug an estimated $110 million budget gap.
In an email dated Nov. 18 to Chris Benge, Fallin’s chief of staff, Dill said the industry deserved “some peace and quiet” as it sought to recover from a prolonged depression oil and gas prices.
“As the current energy-driven downturn has shown, taxes on oil and gas are inherently unpredictable and dependent on volatile commodity prices. If the Governor’s goal is to find stable sources of revenue, continuing to increase the State’s dependence on the Gross Production Tax works against her goal,” Dill said in the email. “As we have urged, state leaders should be very careful in continuing to add costs and taxes to the oil and gas fields in Oklahoma. While many of the plays within Oklahoma are good, and some companies have hit some major single-well finds, the state remains a complex place to drill and is in competition for our investment dollars.”