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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

API / BLOGGER CONFERENCE CALL 042711

API / BLOGGER CONFERENCE CALL

MODERATOR:
Jane Van Ryan,

API SPEAKERS:
Robert Shapiro,
Chairman,Sonecon,LLC.
Kyle Isakower, Vice President of Regulatory and Economic Policy,

API WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

The Bear,
The Absurd Report
Geoff Styles,
Energy Outlook
Jim Hoeft,
Bearing Drift
Lew Waters,
Right in a Left World
Mark Perry,
Carpe Diem
Merv Benson, Prairie Pundit
Michael Swartz,
Red Maryland

(Music intro.)

OPERATOR: You’re listening to Energy Conversations with API, brought to you by the people of America’s oil and natural-gas industry.

00:18 JANE VAN RYAN: (In progress) – Now unless people have questions, we’ll go ahead – and [if there are no] questions about the methodology for the conference call, then we’ll go ahead and get started.

Kyle, I know that you’re in the room; did you want to start by making some very brief remarks?

00:32 KYLE ISAKOWER: Sure Jane, thank you very much. And thanks to all who are on the line this afternoon. We want to very – I’ll very briefly discuss the study that we were talking about today, and I’ll let Robert Shapiro go into any – go into more detail. But essentially, what we wanted to do with this study is put a finer point on the importance that oil and natural-gas companies and their stocks are to – as an investment for many Americans.

Robert had previously done a study that showed, just a few years ago, that about 98.5 percent of the shares of oil and gas stocks are owned by others than corporate executives, and those in the forms of IRAs, 401(k)s, mutual fund investments, as well as pensions. In fact,pensions made up about 25 percent of oil and natural-gas stocks.

Well, what we wanted to do with this study, given the fact that pensions are such an important topic that’s being discussed right now in many states, we wanted greater clarity on the oil and natural-gas stock performance in regards to pension funds.

So what Rob did is, he and Nam Pham, his colleague, have looked at a number of states where – we’ve rolled out the first four of those states this week, and in very general terms, I’ll let Rob talk more – but we found that about 4 to 5 percent of pension fund assets are invested in oil and natural-gas stocks. Yet about 9 to 12 percent of the returns are, for those pension funds, are coming from those stocks.

So clearly, what the study shows, and again this is preliminary results just from four states, what it shows is that oil and natural-gas industry stocks are very important to the health of state pension funds. And that’s really what we wanted to show here, and it’s an important issue that we think needs to be part of the policy debate as we enter into a new round of budget discussions and potential taxes on the industry.

So, that’s all I wanted to say to start off. Jane, I’m not sure if we want to turn it to Robert or just open it up for questions now.

03:05 MS. VAN RYAN: Well, let’s do this. Let’s do a roll call, real quick, and see who we have on line and then we’ll be able to open it to questions. Or Rob, if at that point you’d like to make an opening statement, we’d certainly welcome that.

So what bloggers do we have on line, right now? I know that we have Geoff Styles.

03:20 LEW WATERS: Lew Waters.

03:22 MS. VAN RYAN: Great, thanks Lew.

03:24 MERV BENSON: Merv Benson.

03:25 MS. VAN RYAN: Great Merv, I’m glad you were able to get in. OK, who else?

03:30 MICHAEL SWARTZ: Michael Swartz.

03:32 MS. VAN RYAN: Good, Michael. All right, who else do we have?

03:36 MARK PERRY: Mark Perry.

03:37 MS. VAN RYAN: Wonderful, Mark. All right, anyone else?

03:41 JIM HOEFT: Jim Hoeft.

03:42 MS. VAN RYAN: I’m sorry, say again?

03:44 MR. HOEFT: Jim Hoeft.

03:45 MS. VAN RYAN: Wonderful. Thanks, Jim. And who else do we have? (Pause.)Don’t be bashful, speak up, any other bloggers on line at this time? (Pause.) All right, why don’t we move forward? There may be a few that’ll join us in progress which is just fine. I know there’re a couple of people who said they were in meetings that might be running a little late.

So at this point, Rob, did you have anything you’d like to add to Kyle’s opening statement?

04:16 ROBERT SHAPIRO: Yes, certainly. First of all, welcome everybody. We –Sonecon does analyses of the structure of lots of industries, and we’ve spent a lot of time looking at oil and gas and in particular, as Art (sic) mentioned, the ownership of oil and gas stocks.

And in the past we’ve established the very substantial role played by mutual funds and pension funds in the ownership of U.S. oil and gas companies. And to many, in most respects, this is incidentally not different from the ownership of other basic industries in America, of the auto industry, of the computer industry for that matter.

These are, you know, solid blue chips, and mutual funds want them, pension funds want them. So this was not surprising. What we were looking at, in this case, was the role that the oil and gas holdings played in the returns of state pension funds; that is, the pension funds for state workers.

And what we did was, we went into the filings of the two largest state employee pension funds in each of the four states we covered initially. Those states are Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They represent about 3,000 members, both retired and not retired, and they have assets of about $300 billion together.

And we looked at the distribution of their holdings, and in each of five years, from 2005 through 2009. And these holdings are distributed first between: U.S. equity stocks; international stocks, that is stocks listed on markets other than the U.S. markets; fixed income instruments, which would be bonds of various kinds; and then what is generally classified as “other assets,” which is – it includes both cash and short-term instruments as well as real estate investment,investments in hedge funds, investments in private equity funds. So it goes from the very safe to the very risky.

And then within the equities, we looked at the central distribution to identify how – what share was invested in oil and gas, the oil and gas sector. And in general, anywhere between 3.5 and 5 percent of all assets were invested in oil and gas stocks. We then tracked the performance of the sector over the five years and the performance of the other categories as well, of international equities, fixed income instruments and these other investments.

And in order to establish whether oil and gas assets played a kind of random role, that is, had returns roughly equal to the average returns of the total portfolios of these pension funds or whether they were out performing or under performing the other assets – and, you know, we picked 2005 through 2009, it’s not a whole business cycle but it takes in years of strong expansion as well as deep contraction. So we thought it gave us a pretty good view. And, indeed, in some of the years these assets performed very well, and in other years they didn’t.

So this gave us a – you know, you can never judge an asset by one year’s return. You always have to look over some significant time period. And this gives us a good picture of the performance of these assets compared to other assets in the current period. And what we discovered was that the oil and gas stocks, overall, significantly out performed the rest of the portfolios.

If you invested a dollar in 2005 in oil and gas stocks, by 2009 that dollar was worth$1.49, which is to say – or between $1.40 and $1.49 depending on which state, because they have different kinds of investments. If you look at all the other assets – so the return was anywhere between 41 percent and 49 percent. If you looked at all the other assets, those returns range from 10 percent to 17 percent. And so they’re outperforming the rest of the portfolios; there turns are about 3-to-1 compared to – 3-to-1 to 4-to-1 actually – compared to the returns of all the other assets.

Another way to think of this is, what share of the total portfolio did these investments represent, and what share of the returns did they provide? Well, they represent between 3.3 and 4.8 percent of the portfolios of these pension funds and they produced between 9 and 12 percent of their returns. So, again, you see that their returns – their share of total returns was two-and-a-half to three times greater than their share of the assets.

So it’s the same story, which is to say that these assets have performed unusually well as part of the portfolios of the large state pension funds, at least in these four states. We’re now also preparing – you know, we’re doing the analysis of 13 more states and that will give us a significant majority of all the members and all the assets in states’ public employee pension funds, and then we will have real general conclusions to draw.

11:52 MS. VAN RYAN: Wonderful. Thank you, Rob. All right, why don’t we start with questions? Who would like to go first?

11:58 MR. SWARTZ: Yeah, Michael Swartz here. I have a question about whether the people who are the do-gooders, the social – I guess you’d call them socially liberal; they’re environmentalists – are they pushing the share of oil-healthy stocks down in each of the state pension funds, or is that –

12:21 MR. SHAPIRO: There’s no evidence of that. There’s no evidence that – this is –the share is really consistent with what you’d expect, kind of, in overall portfolio – (chuckles) –management. How much you would expect these funds – it’s not that different from the relative holdings of mutual funds.

12:45 MR. SWARTZ: Yeah, you see that push [of] mutual funds a lot where a certain group wants to divest of a certain industry because they’re not politically correct, but I believe –

12:55 MR. SHAPIRO: That may be – that may be true for a particular (inaudible), but that’s not true for the industry. The industry goes for the returns.

13:02 MR. SWARTZ: But there is the responsibility the states have to do the best they can for their pensioners. Well, OK, that answered the question.

13:09 MR. SHAPIRO: Right.

13:10 MS. VAN RYAN: All right, who’d like to go next? (Pause.) Anyone else have a question immediately? (Pause.) Rob, let me interject a question.

13:22 MR. HOEFT: Can – oh, I’m sorry, Jane; this is Jim Hoeft from Virginia. Is it OK to ask a question?

13:27 MS. VAN RYAN: Absolutely, Jim. Go right ahead.

13:30 MR. HOEFT: Thanks. The Virginia retirement system is the big pension fund that we have out here and it has been experiencing some significant troubles as of late. And now –and actually it was one of the few pensions that did not require employee contributions until this very year. And just because of my own lack of knowledge, forgive me for asking this, but is Virginia one of the 13 states you’re going to be analyzing?

13:59 MR. SHAPIRO: It is one of the additional states. We haven’t done it yet.

14:03 MR. HOEFT: OK, terrific. I will definitely be looking out for that then, thanks.

14:07 MR. SHAPIRO: Sure.

14:09 MS. VAN RYAN: And when do you think that’ll be ready, Rob?

14:11 MR. SHAPIRO: Probably, the end of June.

14:14 MS. VAN RYAN: OK, very good.

14:16 MR. PERRY: Rob, I have a question; it’s Mark Perry.

14:19 MR. SHAPIRO: Uh-huh. Yes, Mark?

14:20 MR. PERRY: OK. When you calculate the return, is that just simply the capital appreciation or the stock and the dividends paid over that period?

14:28 MR. SHAPIRO: Yes, it is the – it includes, well it actually includes all the gains –yes, all the gains or losses from those investments. Yeah, so it would – it is mark-to-market, if that’s what you mean, yes.

14:50 MR. ISAKOWER: Jane –

14:50 MS. VAN RYAN: Any follow-up, Mark?

14:55 MR. ISAKOWER: Jane, this is –

14:56 MR. PERRY: No, that’s fine, thanks.

14:57 MS. VAN RYAN: OK. Uh-huh?

14:58 MR. ISAKOWER: Jane, this is Kyle. I just wanted to correct one thing: Unless I’m mistaken, I think Rob may have misspoken. Virginia to my knowledge was not one of the states that we were doing.

15:12 MR. SHAPIRO: Is that right? I thought Virginia was in the last group of them, but perhaps I’m wrong.

15:16 MR. ISAKOWER: I think you’re probably thinking of West Virginia. And again one of the issues here is that we try to target primarily states where pension funds were not doing as well, were not as well-funded. And Virginia is one that does meet the 80-percent threshold, whereas West Virginia does not.

15:36 MR. SHAPIRO: I see.

15:37 MR. ISAKOWER: I think that was our reasoning there.

15:40 MS. VAN RYAN: OK, Kyle, thank you for that clarification; that’s helpful. Alright, who else has questions?

15:47 THE BEAR: Jane?

15:47 MS. VAN RYAN: Yes?

15:48 THE BEAR: Hey, this is the Bear. How are you doing?

15:50 MS. VAN RYAN: Hi, Bear. I thought you were going to be on here eventually.
Glad –

15:53 THE BEAR: OK. I’m wondering if the moratoriums and the anti-drill policy –how is it affecting American companies in the performance test we’re talking about here?

16:08 MS. VAN RYAN: Kyle? Rob? Which one of you would like to take that question?

16:12 MR. ISAKOWER: Well, I’ll take a first stab at it, Jane. This is Kyle. Certainly, the moratorium, which has now been lifted, but there’s certainly a very slow return to permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, it is certainly hurting performance. I can’t say how that is hurting stock performance because the market does build in expectations, and the market understands that there’s going – that there was a moratorium and slow permitting process.

But one would expect that, if the administration were to send a signal that permitting was going to return to previous levels, then the expectations would be that these – that companies would resume drilling and would potentially be able to produce more and add more value – more economic value; therefore, you could expect that this could improve overall economic performance in the U.S.But I really can’t predict what that would mean in terms of stock value for individual companies going forward. But again, obviously, overall, additional investments improves economic performance overall for the U.S.

17:35 MS. VAN RYAN: Well put, all right. Bear, did you have a follow-up?

17:39 THE BEAR: No, that’s fine, Jane, thank you. That was a good answer.

17:40 MS. VAN RYAN: OK. All right, who else has a question?

You’re all being much too bashful today. Kyle, if you have a list in front of you, and I don’t know that you do, since I’m in a separate location, but can you tell us which states are going to be examined next?

18:06 MR. ISAKOWER: Sure, Jane. Hold on just a second.

Again, we’ve already done Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania. Additionally, we’re looking at California, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia.

18:33 MS. VAN RYAN: OK. Very good. That’ll be helpful, I think, to the bloggers we have on the call. All right, does anyone else have a question at this point?

18:44 MR. PERRY: Jane, it’s Mark Perry again.

18:45 MS. VAN RYAN: Yes?

18:47 MR. PERRY: Rob, are these data now available to the state pension funds themselves, and would this make any changes in their future, you know, portfolios?

18:59 MR. SHAPIRO: Well, I don’t know. I’d be – certainly, the data – you know, the report is a public report, and so it’s certainly available to the pension funds and their money managers.

You know, I think there are a couple – you know, if you look at the four states – as I said, the oil and gas assets as a share of total assets actually range from 3.3 percent to 4.8 percent. If I were – you know, 3.3 is Missouri; Pennsylvania is 3.4 as compared to Ohio, which is 4.4, and Michigan which is 4.8 – if I were – if I were, you know, the financial manager of the teachers’ pension fund in Missouri – and the teachers’ fund is, in every state, the largest public employees’pension fund in the state; that’s consistent everywhere – I’d ask my money manager: Why are you investing only 3.3 percent? You know, look at the – I think we’re out of line. These have had high returns. You know, I want to see 4 to 5 percent of our portfolio in these assets, like other funds do. That’s what I would do as a financial guy.

But you know, the fact is: Look, there are relationships between returns and risk, and different funds will absorb different levels of risk. There are, you know – and they do –(chuckles) – a lot better in bull markets and worse in bear markets. That’s kind of the history of those. So it’s up to – you know, it’s up to – different funds also have different cash flow needs.

And part of your portfolio choices will have to do on – do with how liquid the portfolio has to be.But setting that aside, if I were in a state with a – on the low end of investments in this sector, I’d ask my managers why.

21:40 MR. PERRY: You have a good point, thanks.

21:46 MS. VAN RYAN: Additional questions? Kyle, I wonder if it might be helpful to the bloggers to talk about this in terms of what the issues of the day happen to be – the fact that the administration is once again encouraging the Congress to adopt a budget package that would reduce tax breaks, if you will, for oil companies, which would have the effect of actually increasing taxes on oil companies, which then would appear, at least to my mind, to mean that there would be – that the earnings would be impacted in some way.

Do you anticipate that this study could have an impact on that overall discussion about whether or not it’s appropriate to raise taxes on oil companies at this point?

22:45 MR. ISAKOWER: Well, sure, Jane, and yes, that – you know, our hope, frankly, in asking Rob to do the analysis was that we did want to have this considered as part of the debate. As you mentioned, there are many here in Washington that are considering increasing taxes on the oil and natural gas industry. They often refer to oil and natural gas “subsidies” when those same, quote, unquote, “subsidies,” when speaking of other industrial sectors, are simply considered part of the tax code, but for oil and natural gas, they’re considered “subsidies.” And they’re doing – they’re proposing these increased – increasing taxes at a time when the oil and natural gas industry is already paying significantly more than other sectors. The most recent data shows the oil-natural gas industry is paying an effective tax rate of about 41 percent compared to other industries that are a combined 26-percent tax rate – overall tax rate.

23:59 MS. VAN RYAN: And that’s for 2010?

24:02 MR. ISAKOWER: That is for 2010. That’s the latest data for 2010.

24:04 MS. VAN RYAN: OK.

24:06 MR. ISAKOWER. And yet, there are many policy makers that will say that the oil and natural gas industry needs to pay its fair share. Clearly, we are already paying our fair share and more. In fact, oil and natural gas industry is contributing over $86 million each day to the federal government in terms of – in taxes, rents, royalties, bonus payments, et cetera.

So this issue that the oil and natural gas industry is not paying its fair share, and we need to take away its, quote, “subsidies,” really is one that is politically motivated, or appears to be politically motivated, at a time when prices at the pump are relatively high and it’s easy to make a scapegoat out of one industry; and that appears to be what’s happening here.

And again, what we’re showing in this study, and in the previous study that Rob did forus, is that these companies are not owned by corporate “fat cats,” quote, unquote. They’reowned by everyday Americans. And it’s people who are relying on it for their retirement,whether it’s pension plans, 401(k)s, IRAs; it’s everyday Americans who are – who own oil andgas industry companies.

And when the government considers policies, whether they’d be a tax policy as you alluded to, Jane, or whether they’re talking about access or regulation of the industry, be it through EPA or other agencies, any of these policies that make the oil and natural gas industryless economically viable to operate here in the United States doesn’t just hurt the corporate insiders; it hurts everyday Americans. And that’s the point. And that is certainly the point thatwe’re hoping to get through with this study and our educational efforts.

26:22 GEOFF STYLES: I’ve got a question. Now, this is Geoff Styles. I’ve got a question about the tax rate. I know it’s a little off-point in terms of the study, but –I’m aware of the marginal tax rate that you’re talking about, and I understand the difference between marginal and average, but every time that I’ve tried to reproduce those numbers myself, looking at the data that’s provided in the Energy Information Agency’s financial reporting system, the group of companies that they report the earnings and taxes for, I get hopelessly, you know, tangled up in foreign taxes, tax credits, accruals and things like that.

Is there sort of a simple way to look at those numbers and try to arrive at anything like that? Or is that sort of an oxymoron by itself?

27:12 MR. ISAKOWER: Unfortunately, my manager of tax policy is not in the room with me, so I don’t have the depth of knowledge to answer that question as thoroughly as I’d like to. What I can do is I can – you know, we have your contact information; well, let’s go offline and I can – when I can get a hold of that tax manager, I’ll be happy to have that discussion with you. He can explain it better than I ever could.

27:40 MR. STYLES: That would be great, thank you.

27:40 MR. ISAKOWER: OK.

27:41 MS. VAN RYAN: I tell you what I’ll do. Since I’m sitting here at a computer and I’m online, Kyle, I will send an email to him. We’ll see if we can get him to come in to the room.

27:49 MR. ISAKOWER: I know he’s out of the office right now, Jane, that’s why – I would’ve done it myself.

27:52 MS. VAN RYAN: Ah, I see, then. OK. I do know that the calculations are based on information that comes from Compustat – and that’s all I know, Geoff; I’m not that familiar with how those calculations are done, but I know that’s where the data comes from.

28:08 MR. STYLES: OK. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not a two-minute explanation.

28:12 MS. VAN RYAN: It may be – yeah. Could be it’s real short, I don’t know, but we’ll try to get that for you.

28:17 MR. PERRY: Yeah, it’s Mark Perry. I have a related question to that. I’m just wondering also if the 41 percent of taxes as a share of net income, if that includes taxes paid to foreign governments or just the United States Treasury.

28:31 MR. ISAKOWER: I’m not sure.

28:34 MR. PERRY: OK. And then maybe – I had a – we could –

28:36 MR. ISAKOWER: Yeah, let’s – we’ll get you that information. I know we’ve got your contact information; we’ll reach out to you as soon as I can get that.

28:43 MS. VAN RYAN: Right. I’ll be happy to send that to you, Mark, as soon as we can get ahold of the right person.

28:47 MR. PERRY: Yes, OK. Great.

28:50 MS. VAN RYAN: OK.

28:51 MR. HOEFT: Hey, Jane. It’s Jim again. Is it OK to ask another question?

28:55 MS. VAN RYAN: Absolutely, go right ahead.

28:57 MR. HOEFT: Sorry if this sounds overly simplistic. That’s probably because of –(chuckles) – my lack of understanding. But when the president makes a statement encouraging drilling in Brazil, for example, yet we have – and Virginia’s obviously very interested; and that’s my blog’s location, and primarily my audience.

And so we’re concerned about perhaps trading jobs in drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, and perhaps having some of those revenues come to the Commonwealth of Virginia and helping Virginia retirement system for a fact.

So I guess my question is, in this whole concept of – breakdown of foreign taxes and U.S.taxes and things of that nature, if a U.S company is drilling off the coast of Brazil, does that still help the industry at large and our retirement pensions at large?

29:55 MR. SHAPIRO: Of course it does. The – you know, these are multinational corporations, and they’re global. The value of the company is based on its global business, so that’s not what you would go into the market’s valuation of these companies.

30:18 MR. HOEFT: Maybe let me rephrase my question. Which would help more,drilling off the coast of the U.S., or drilling off the coast of Brazil?

30:27 MR. SHAPIRO: With respect to the returns to the company and to the shareholders? We don’t know. It depends on, you know, the costs of doing business in the two places. And the, you know, the condition of drilling off Virginia, you know, is certainly going to be different from the condition of – you know, be a different depth.

Very hard to – you know, the truth is, you know, again, these are global companies, and you – it’s a – they have global production chains and global supply chains. And it all goes into –our most successful companies are very globalized. And it’s one of the reasons the returns in this sector are high. And so if you’re talking about, kind of, which generates jobs for the United States, obviously drilling off Virginia does.

But if you’re talking about the returns to the shareholders of these companies, it’s – you –we don’t know which one contributes more. What we know is that both – if both would be pursued, then they both make economic sense for the companies.

31:48 MR. HOEFT: Thank you very much.

31:49 MR. ISAKOWER: Yeah, if I can jump in here too, I just want to expand on that last point that Rob made. And that is, certainly, you know, in terms of the stock performance for an individual company, whether it’s drilling off the coast of Virginia or drilling off the coast of Brazil, that’s going to – you can’t make any definitive statement on that.

But, as Rob alluded to, you know, if you’re talking about creating jobs in Virginia, aprevious study we did by ICF [International] identified that there were – there could be about 1,300 jobs created in Virginia by increased access to the Outer Continental Shelf. We could also, obviously – by drilling domestically rather than overseas, you’re increasing revenues to the government, because those companies are paying taxes, royalties, bonus bid, et cetera; you’re increasing jobs, as I mentioned; and obviously U.S. production means that you’ve increased energy security here in the United States, because that’s just that much less that you need to get from overseas.

So in terms of jobs, revenues and energy security, drilling domestically seems to be a better option than – and frankly, here at API, we wonder why the President is urging foreign governments to increase their production, but he’s not – he doesn’t seem to want to do the same thing here in the United States.

33:20 MR. HOEFT: Wonderful. Thank you.

33:24 MS. VAN RYAN: Any other questions on that, or on the study, or basically any other energy issue that you have in mind?

33:30 MR. PERRY: Yeah, it’s Mark Perry again. Hi, Jane.

I’m just wondering what your thoughts are of how did this all come about. Is it just because gas prices and oil prices got high again, that the administration just all of a sudden came out of nowhere and wants to, you know, increase taxes on the oil industry? Or was there anything else other than high oil prices that precipitated this?

33:52 MR. ISAKOWER: Well, again, I’m speculating here, but as I mentioned before, the price at the pump does seem to be an issue where the administration believes they can deflect criticism by putting it squarely on the shoulders of the oil industry itself. Obviously prices areset as a global commodity – prices for crude oil are set as a global commodity. But it is our belief that increased U.S. production, even opening up those areas now, certainly sends a signal to the market that more – you know, more production will be coming in the future.

And right now, when you’ve got a global market which is somewhat jittery over some of the geopolitical events in North Africa and in the Middle East, sending a signal that there’s more supply coming in the future certainly could only help dampen that jitteriness that we’re currently seeing in the market.

35: 11 MR. PERRY: OK, thanks.

35:12 MS. VAN RYAN: One thing I’d add, Mark, is that it’s my understanding that the last two budgets that have come out of the White House -- proposed for the federal government -- have included tax increases on the oil industry.

Now, mind you, they haven’t included tax increases on other companies that get the same tax breaks that the oil companies get. But it does appear that the oil industry, for whatever reason, has been, in a sense, singled out for separate treatment under the tax code.

35:46 MR. PERRY: Right. And that seems, you know, just uncalled-for, I guess, unfair.

35:51 MR. ISAKOWER: Right. And Jane, that was the issue I was referring to earlier when I – when I noted that – when it’s a part of the tax code that the oil and natural gas industry is taking advantage of, it’s considered a subsidy. For other industries, it’s part of the tax code.

36:09 MS. VAN RYAN: Exactly.

OK. Any other questions? We still have a few minutes left, if you have something you’d like to bring up. I know there are a lot of people on the call that have not asked a question yet.

OK. Well, maybe we’ve answered all of your immediate questions. I am online; you all have my email address. Please feel free to send me any questions that you might have. I’ll be happy to share them with Kyle or Rob or whoever the appropriate person is, and I will get to our tax director as quickly as possible to answer those other questions regarding the effective income tax rates for the companies.

Anything else before we close out today?

All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate you joining us today. Have a good one.

36:56 OPERATOR: Thank you for listening to this installment of “Energy Conversations with API.” For more information or to join the conversation,visit EnergyTomorrow.org. That’s www.EnergyTomorrow.org

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