Ken Cohen Archives - Shopfloor

Tax Targets: Today, Oil Companies; Tomorrow, Another Industry

By | Economy, Energy, General, Taxation | No Comments

The Senate Finance Committee has a hearing scheduled for Thursday, “Oil and Gas Tax Incentives and Rising Energy Price,” to which executives of a select few oil companies have been invited.

“Frankly, we are an attractive target,” said Ken Cohen, ExxonMobil’s vice president of public and government affairs. “I think the term I used was ‘irresistible’ right now for politicians to whale away.”

Cohen and Jaime Spellings, ExxonMobil’s vice president and general tax counsel, spoke this morning on a conference call for bloggers organized by the American Petroleum Institute. Much of the discussion centered on the issues of profits and taxes Cohen detailed in a recent post at ExxonMobil’s Perspectives blog, “ExxonMobil’s U.S. taxes and U.S. earnings – Some relevant numbers for Washington.”

Oil companies are today’s target, but other industries and the public at large should be concerned, Cohen argued.

I just hope that we can have at some point … some rational discussion of what the country’s tax policy should be. And other large industries should also take note, or actually any industry. Read More

Three Concrete Actions to Advance Energy Security

By | Economy, Energy, Regulations | 4 Comments

Ken Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs for Exxon Mobil Corporation, blogged his company’s reaction to President Obama’s speech on energy policy Wednesday.

Cohen’s commentary at the Perspectives Blog includes recommendations the Administration should undertake if the President really wants to achieve his stated goals, to “produce more oil (and gas) in America to help lower oil prices, create jobs and enhance our energy security.” It’s a very clear, very good statement.

From “Actions speak louder than words – especially when it comes to energy policy“:

  1. Approve the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian oil to U.S. refineries. We can’t take advantage of Canada’s vast oil resources if we can’t get them here. Everything is ready to go – except government approval. Instead, the State Department announced another delay just a few weeks ago.
  2. Drop plans in the federal budget for billions of dollars in new, punitive taxes on U.S. oil and gas companies that will divert money from investments in new energy supplies. New taxes make U.S. companies less competitive internationally, and they discourage investment in energy supplies at home.
  3. Open up federal lands for oil and gas development. The tired and discredited “use it or lose it” talking point can’t hide the fact that there are millions of acres off limits to development of American energy resources. One recent study found that reversing drilling bans on federal lands could generate $1.7 trillion in government revenue over the life of the resource, create 160,000 jobs and increase U.S. oil output by as much as 2 million barrels a day by 2030.

Those three simple actions would send a message to the country that the president is serious about developing an energy policy that – as he says – will produce more oil in America, create jobs and enhance our energy security.

The Wall Street Journal also interviewed Cohen for its report, “Obama Adds New Luster to Old Calls for Energy Independence.