A new kind of business model connecting customers and providers is cutting out inefficient middlemen and reducing costs. Unfortunately, some governments are trying to undercut these new services at the request of the old-economy companies that are displacing them with their greater efficiency.
In response to significantly lower oil and natural gas prices, America’s energy sector is retrenching rapidly. The drilling rig count has dropped by more than 50 percent over the past year, while companies large and small have announced sizeable layoffs and cuts in their capital budgets for 2015 and 2016. Nonetheless, several states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, are considering imposing or hiking production taxes—called severance taxes—on oil and gas operators. These increases will be in neither the public’s nor the industry’s best interests