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Letter to the editor: Tax deductions can't be confused with loopholes

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  • What they don't know about energy production

    What they don't know about energy production

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:00:13 GMT
    I really get upset when people call us hillbillies. As I get to visit with people around the country on my “Just the Fracks” book tour, I am learning a lot about what Americans think and know about energy. It seems that the further I get from West Virginia the less people know about where their energy comes from. I have heard some incredible things.
    I really get upset when people call us hillbillies. As I get to visit with people around the country on my “Just the Fracks” book tour, I am learning a lot about what Americans think and know about energy. It seems that the further I get from West Virginia the less people know about where their energy comes from. I have heard some incredible things.
  • Hydraulic fracturing could improve geothermal energy

    Hydraulic fracturing could improve geothermal energy

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:00:21 GMT
    A recent issue of The Economist had an article titled “Geothermal Energy, Hot Rocks, Why Geothermal Is the New Fracking.” The month before, a New York Times article titled, “Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help from Oil and Gas Drilling.”
    A recent issue of The Economist had an article titled “Geothermal Energy, Hot Rocks, Why Geothermal Is the New Fracking.” The month before, a New York Times article titled, “Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help from Oil and Gas Drilling.”
  • Changes to the oil, gas industry create benefits, concern

    Changes to the oil, gas industry create benefits, concern

    Sunday, August 31 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:00:17 GMT
    Robert N. Hart
    Robert N. Hart

As tax reform takes shape in Congress, lawmakers with a stake in protecting special deductions and tax preferences all claim to be acting from a pro-growth perspective. But it's the energy industry — now and in the next decade — that will contribute most to robust economic growth in terms of job creation, revenue generation and investment. 

Where are the champions of these businesses?

West Virginia is a key energy state. We've got a major stake in this debate because as things stand now, many of the provisions that allow U.S. energy companies to expand their operations, attract investment and compete in global markets are on the table for reform. Why? Because in a single-minded effort to find a way out of the current fiscal mess, some in our government think higher taxes on energy businesses is a good way to raise cash.

They say the goal of reform is a simpler, fairer tax system. But in what universe is fairness — or even common sense — served by singling out energy companies for higher taxes, considering how important they are to growing our economy?

This is not to say that overhaul of the tax code isn't a good idea. But it only works if legislators stop confusing legitimate tax deductions with loopholes and incentives that preserve jobs, investment and competitiveness with subsidies. 

Tax code reform should not erode the ability of the energy industry to keep fueling our economy. 

Seth Gaskins 
South Charleston