The following statement was released by George Rogers, Chairman of the Board of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, in response to President Obama’s announcement Thursday that he will propose a $10-per-barrel tax on the sale of crude oil produced in the U.S.

“President Obama’s proposed $10 tax on each barrel of crude oil produced in the U.S. is another needless attempt to strangle an industry that is critical to our nation’s economy and national security.

A $10-per-barrel tax on an industry al- ready in a deep decline would be a death sentence. The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers will vigorously oppose this tax increase.

“The drilling rig count in Texas is down by 68 percent from 2014, drilling permits are down 70 percent, and oil and gas well completions have each declined by about 60 percent.

“Karr Ingham, petroleum economist and author of the Texas Petro Index, said the steep declines have resulted in massive layoffs, causing statewide oil and gas industry employment to decline from a record 306,330 jobs in December 2014 to about 234,150 jobs in December 2015. Texas has lost more than 72,000 jobs and counting.

“A $10 tax on a barrel of crude oil that is selling for about $30 is ludicrous. President Obama’s new tax defies economic logic, and lacks common sense.

“This is not a tax on Big Oil, because 92 percent of the oil produced in the U.S. is produced by independent oil producers- -not the major, integrated oil companies. It is an attack on small business and American energy security.

“In addition to crippling the country’s independent producers, crude oil imports

will increase, and consumer prices will rise.”