ConocoPhillips CEO: Tax Proposal Would Cost Jobs, Raise Consumer Energy Costs

Houston, May 11, 2011 --- ConocoPhillips’ [NYSE:COP] Chairman and CEO Jim Mulva will appear May 12 at a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., where he will outline the negative effects of proposed tax policy targeting major energy companies.

Mulva expects to describe to committee members how misinformation about the industry’s tax liabilities is being used to justify proposed tax increases.

"Our industry already has the highest effective tax rate in the United States," said Mulva. "Increasing these taxes would cost jobs and raise gasoline and other consumer prices, while actually unintentionally reducing the government’s tax revenue by discouraging investment by the industry’s largest and most financially capable companies."

Mulva added that the proposal would impede the industry’s ability to reinvest not only in the oil and natural gas needed to power the economy today, but also in new energy technologies and resources that will be essential in the future.

"Our industry and company are already taxed heavily compared to other industries in the United States," Mulva said. "For example, ConocoPhillips’ effective global income tax rate from 2006 through 2010 was 46 percent. If you look at non-financial companies in the Fortune 500, the 20 largest by market value had an effective tax rate of 27 percent."

That tax rate already limits the company’s ability to invest in finding and recovering energy reserves. In 2010, the company’s payout was equal to its income: After paying $8.3 billion in income taxes – as well as $3.1 billion in other non-income taxes -- ConocoPhillips earned $11.4 billion in income.

Proposals to repeal the Section 199 domestic manufacturing deduction for the five largest oil companies would discriminatorily deny them a tax deduction available to every other manufacturing industry, as well as to large oil companies outside the top five. This tax deduction was enacted by Congress in 2004 to stimulate job growth in the production and manufacturing sector, which in turn, encouraged more domestic energy production.

"The oil and natural gas industry supports 9.1 million jobs in the United States, a fact that is too often overlooked," said Mulva. "Also, taxes are included in gasoline prices. At a time when everyone is concerned over the cost of gasoline, Congress shouldn’t do anything that could actually worsen the situation."

ConocoPhillips is an integrated energy company with interests around the world. Headquartered in Houston, the company had approximately 29,600 employees, $160 billion of assets, and $226 billion of annualized revenues as of March 31, 2011. For more information, go to


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Nancy Turner (media) 

Clayton Reasor (investors)


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ConocoPhillips' effective tax rate of 46 percent reflects an adjustment to income before taxes in 2008 for impairments of $32.9 billion. The company's effective tax rate including these items was 66 percent for the five-year period.