The purpose of this paper will be to chart historical financial performance of oil and gas against a backdrop of legislative events. To that end, the paper will have three distinct sections.

First, each of the major pieces of legislation that have had significant impact on the petroleum industry since 1975 will be presented. In this section, the discussion will be focused on the historical basis and subsequent evolution of each bill.

Second, a comparison will be drawn to illustrate the effects each major piece of legislation had upon net profits to the industry. Changes that were occurting as various statutes took effect will be demonstrated by an examination of some of the financial indicators of a typical project in oil and gas. Where applicable, a specific profile of the independent producer will be addressed.

In the third section, the paper will move into an analysis of proposed legislation. Specifically, the goal will be to address bills as they are currently drafted and provide a discussion of their potential consequences to petroleum economics. The decontrol of natural gas is one such issue which will merit special attention.

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