Sunday, March 2, 2008

Quote of the Day

"For the vast majority of Arkansans, a severance tax increase on natural gas producers won’t lead to a jump in heating bills.

"An official of the state’s largest natural gas utility, Center-Point Energy, says it won’t be passed on to its customers. 'It’s our perception that cost will be borne by producers and not on the price we pay,' says Chuck Harder, CenterPoint’s director of regulatory policy and external relations.

"Some customers of two natural gas utilities in Northwest Arkansas could see higher rates, but that’s not a certainty, said John Bethel, executive director of the state Public Service Commission. ...'I just don’t see where you could pass it on,' said Larry Bengal, director of the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission. 'It just doesn’t work that way.'

"Conversely, Arkansas’ current tax, which is among the lowest in the country, hasn’t meant that producers here have been selling gas at less than the market price, said Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

"Arkansas Western officials didn’t return repeated messages."

--Seth Blomeley, "Severance Tax Unlikely to Trickle Down," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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