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Independent Oil Producer Leader Says Senate Vote Sends Signal To Political Opportunists

June 16, 2010


Mike Cantrell

Mike Cantress

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 16, 2010 — A leader of a domestic oil producer coalition said today a failed Senate vote on repeal of key oil and natural gas tax provisions is evidence that a majority of senators don’t intend to put American energy consumers in harm’s way simply to make political points in the wake of the BP spill.

Mike Cantrell, president of the 1,200-member Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), said an amendment to a Senate tax extenders bill, offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), “was 180 degrees wrong for the country.” The amendment, which required 60 votes to pass, was defeated 61-35.

Cantrell, an Oklahoma-based oil producer, called the ill-fated effort “unadulterated political opportunism, which was obviously recognized as such by Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Calling the BP spill the most significant environmental accident ever for the offshore oil industry and for the nation, the DEPA leader urged Congress to take strong steps to protect America’s shores from such events, but not to over-politicize the event into a vendetta against independent oil and natural gas producers by pushing for punitive laws or regulations that would cause energy prices to spike.

“We are not BP,” he said. “Let’s not throw small, independent oil and gas producers under the bus to punish BP. Taxing the energy sector’s small business people, who drill 90-plus percent of on-shore wells, only costs jobs and raises the price of energy to the American consumer to an unacceptable level, especially in such tough economic times.”

The independent producer leader said both major oil-related environmental tragedies (Exxon Valdez and the BP spill) involved spills into our oceans. “Let’s focus on the actual problem and not on off-target political agendas.”

The DEPA co-founder said independent oil and gas producers “will continue to do our part for America, replacing oil production declines resulting from the moratorium on deep offshore drilling.

“It’s time this administration spoke the truth to the American people about our energy situation… and our energy future. This ill-advised attempt to repeal these tax provisions, some of which have been law since the 1920s, would’ve choked off investment capital to independent producers at precisely the time when U.S. land-based exploration needs to be stepped up,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell said domestic on-shore oil producers can help provide the much-needed energy to rebuild our economy and keep gasoline and other prices in a reasonable range, “if the Administration and Congress won’t penalize independent producers and then claim that somehow this tax repeal solves a horrible environmental tragedy offshore.”

For additional information or to speak with a representative of DEPA, please contact Kristin Miskovsky at or 405-706-5642.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 29, 2011 11:53 pm

    As a small independent oil producer, I agree that it would have devastating effects if our taxes were raised. We do not have enormous profit margins like the majors and small tax increases or any new regulatory hurdle has a much greater impact on us. Just my two cents. Thanks.

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