Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) didn’t need a whiteboard to deliver one of her textbook takedowns Tuesday when an oil company executive argued that his industry doesn’t get any special tax breaks.
Following her recent appointment as chair of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on oversight, Porter was one of several Democrats to introduce legislation last week that would raise royalty rates on oil and gas companies for the first time in over a century.
Mark Murphy, president of Strata Production Co., argued in a subcommittee video hearing Tuesday, “There seems to be a misconception out there that you’re operating from that somehow the oil and gas industry have benefits from some special sort of tax structure. We don’t.”
“You do benefit from special rules,” Porter said, after interrupting him. “There’s a special tax rule for intangible drilling costs that does not apply to other kinds of expenses that businesses have. You get to deduct 70% of your costs immediately, and other businesses have to amortize their expenses over their entire profit stream. So please don’t patronize me by telling me that the oil and gas industry doesn’t have any special tax provisions. Because if you would like that to be the rule, I would be happy to have Congress deliver.”
Porter serves also on the Energy and Mineral Resources and the Public Lands and National Parks subcommittees. She’s working in those roles to advance policies that address the climate crisis, get fair value for taxpayers on the development of natural resources and hold polluters accountable, according to a statement about her appointment.
Porter has become a social media star for her persistent, well-informed takedowns of big business executives, which she often carries out with her now-famous whiteboard as a visual aid. Her speech Tuesday gathered steam online as fans and constituents praised her latest work.