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Public Statements - Letter: Campbell Derides Oil Group Claim

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Location: Unknown - Letter: Campbell Derides Oil Group Claim

I'm writing to dispute the conclusions drawn by the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association in your story Sept. 12, "Energy industry value to La. Cited."

The association makes the ridiculous claim that gasoline prices will increase as much as $1.25 per gallon if my oil-and-gas-processing fee, paid mostly by foreign suppliers, is enacted.

That is based on the erroneous assumption that the fee increase cannot be passed on to customers outside Louisiana. In fact, constitutional experts assure me that based on prior court decisions, the increase can be shared by consumers nationwide.

Consequently, we estimate that the fee might lead to a nickel increase in gas prices, at most.

Secondly, Mid-Continent says refiners would build in other states.

In fact, no new refinery has been built in the United States in more than 30 years, and it would be virtually impossible to build in other states because of environmental restrictions.

The story also quotes a Mid-Continent spokesman: "They're not going to move the refineries and they're not going to move the people. And he's right," but companies will disinvest from refineries in Louisiana and "put those dollars elsewhere in other states."

The fact is that oil companies have already decided to cut back on refinery expansions EVERYWHERE, citing increased competition from biofuels. A report by Barclays Capital (New York Times, May 24) concludes that biofuel competition "is likely to deter and further delay investment, if not rule out many refinery investments completely."

Mid-Continent has consistently opposed an oil-processing fee. It uses scare tactics in attempt to sway Louisiana citizens.

If my plan is enacted — the only significant economic plan offered by any gubernatorial candidate — we can eliminate the state income tax and provide new revenue to meet critical state challenges.

It's time for those who use Louisiana's land, marshes and coastal waters to pay their fair share to move our state forward.

Foster Campbell
public service commissioner
Democratic candidate for governor
Elm Grove

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