Boren: 'People Are Losing Jobs Because of Administration's Policies'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 27, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: The president also calling to end tax breaks for oil companies and invest the money in his green energy projects. 

To a Democrat, yes, a Democrat, telling the president he’s putting thousands of jobs on the line. 

And Congressman Dan Boren of Oklahoma joins me now.

Congressman, you are a Democrat.

REP. DAN BOREN, D-OKLA.: Yes, sir.

VARNEY: You seem to oppose the president on this.

BOREN: Absolutely.

VARNEY: Are you telling me that, if you take those tax breaks away from the oil companies, your state, Oklahoma, loses jobs?  Are you telling me that flat out? 

BOREN: We would lose thousands of jobs, not only in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and places like Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia. These aren’t just oil and gas -- traditional oil-and-gas-producing states.

And these tax breaks do not go to the big major oil companies. They go to small independent companies like we have in Oklahoma.  Did you know a vast majority of the production in the United States comes from small independent oil and gas companies? And the new rigs that are being -- the new rigs that are drilling right now in the United States, they’re not the Exxon Mobil’s of the world.

They’re the Devon’s, the Chesapeake’s, and even smaller companies that are based in Oklahoma that are employing a lot of -- by the way, a lot of Democrats blue-collar jobs.  And the president needs to understand that. 


VARNEY: But those smaller oil companies, the Devon’s that you`re talking about, the drillers, don`t they get any of these tax breaks? Because you’ve got the big oil companies reporting billions and billions of dollars in profits this week, literally, and a lot of people are saying, come on, you can afford $4 billion giveaway in your tax breaks.

You’ve got a cushion here of huge profits.  Surely you can absorb the tax break loss and keep drilling. 

BOREN: Well, there are two things. One is the depletion allowance. The major oil companies are barred from using that tax incentive. They cannot do it. It’s against the law. That’s one of the things that the president has been misleading the public on. 

The second thing is intangible drilling costs. That is basically an incentive to drill in the United States. If you take that away, 30 percent to 40 percent of the drilling right now in the United States will go away. And that number that you talked about earlier, the fact that we have more production now, that’s because of places like the Bakken shale, Harold Hamm in Oklahoma, going to places like North Dakota, producing a lot of oil and gas. And that’s in spite of the president`s policies. 

VARNEY: What can you do about it? You are a Blue Dog Democrat, sir. You`re in Oklahoma. Do you have enough colleagues in the House to maybe stop this? 

BOREN:Well, unfortunately, a lot of my colleagues lost in the last election. I mean, good people from Louisiana, Mississippi, we lost because the president has lurched too far to the left on his energy policies. He’s got to come to the middle. If he wants to win this next election, he’s got to win over independents. 

He may write off Oklahoma. I don`t know if he’s been to Oklahoma since the last election, but he should be in places like the Gulf Coast, because, I mean, people are losing their jobs every single day because of this administration`s policies. 

Again, I say, these are -- these are not just Republicans.


BOREN: These are not just CEOs of major companies. These are Democrats. These are blue-collar workers in places like Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and all the way up into places like Pennsylvania and New York. 

VARNEY: All right, Congressman Dan Boren, Democrat, Oklahoma, thanks for joining us, sir.

BOREN: Thank you, Stuart.

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