House Ag holds oil and gas hearing | TSLN.com

House Ag holds oil and gas hearing

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing April 13, regarding the decline in oil and gas prices and the impacts on the rural economy.

"Energy, and the price of energy, has an obvious direct impact on inputs for farmers and ranchers," House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, said in an opening statement.

"Not quite as intuitively, the energy sector provides income and revenue for rural residents and their local communities in the form of salaries, royalty payments, and tax revenues.

"In my district, agriculture is a leading industry. However, many of the biggest employers in the 11th District of Texas revolve around oil and gas production," Conway said. "These businesses provide a significant number of good paying jobs for Americans. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that jobs in this sector have an average income that is twice as high as the national average income."

“It is important that we work together at all levels of government to ensure ongoing opportunities in the industry. That mostly means we need to stay out of the way by ensuring environmental regulations are not overly restrictive but instead reasonable and relevant to these operations.” Martin Causer, majority chairman of the Pennsylvania House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

In a statement after the hearing, Conaway added, "Just like the farm economy, oil and gas is on the downturn and as a committee it is essential we recognize the hard times our rural economy is facing and explore all policy options available to mitigate the economic damage to rural America."

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"The next big step must be further development of our pipeline network," said Martin Causer, the majority chairman of the Pennsylvania House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

"It is important that we work together at all levels of government to ensure ongoing opportunities in the industry. That mostly means we need to stay out of the way by ensuring environmental regulations are not overly restrictive but instead reasonable and relevant to these operations."

Jackie Root, president of the National Association of Royalty Owners, said elimination of the percentage depletion tax deduction that royalty owners enjoy would be harmful.

–The Hagstrom Report

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