Aindriu Colgan, NSWA VP of Governmental Affairs
Last night, marginal well producers lost several friends in the U.S. Senate, including Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). Senator Heller, in particular, was a big defender of percentage depletion during tax reform. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), however, another friend of marginal producers, did survive a Republican challenge.
NSWA members now also face a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, which has never been particularly friendly towards marginal producers or percentage depletion. The biggest threat facing NSWA in the next Congress will be the elimination of percentage depletion as a revenue raiser. Percentage depletion has routinely been grouped with other tax provisions used by the oil and gas industry, all of which have routinely been proposed by House and Senate Democrats to pay for their
priorities. Moreover, next Congress both parties will be looking to raise significant amounts of revenue to fund a possible bipartisan infrastructure package. Democrats will likely propose eliminating percentage depletion, among the other provisions used by the oil and gas industry, to pay for that package. Remember, at this point, percentage depletion is a bipartisan revenue raiser; there are Republicans who would not oppose eliminating it.
NSWA will have to remain vigilant. We will begin by working with other members of the Percentage Depletion Coalition in meeting with new Senators and Members of Congress and making the case for percentage depletion. We will need your help as well in educating new members about percentage depletion. Send them emails and letters and talk to them about it at local townhalls. We will keep you updated via email and ask for your help. The threat is real. We have to actively defend percentage depletion, or we will lose it.