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Gov action

The mission of Shell’s Government Affairs group is to work with governments and key stakeholders to advance business objectives, enhance the reputation of the Shell Group and affect public policy.

Throughout the year, you will be informed about key energy issues and will have the opportunity to weigh in and contribute to the policy debate. You will receive information regularly informing you of our advocacy efforts, updates on the major issues Congress and states are facing, and access to Shell’s advocacy materials.

We work closely with the businesses to identify issues and priorities in order to develop strategies that support business goals in our engagements with public officials and policymakers at the international, federal and state levels of government and with external stakeholders. Some of the key policy issues are briefly discussed below. For more information please contact the Shell Washington office at shellaction@shell.com.

Gasoline Prices

This fact sheet will help you better understand the factors that impact the price of fuel and will help prepare you for the questions you’re sure to get from friends and family.


There are significant resources yet to be discovered in US offshore coastal waters.  The US government estimates there are 400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 75 billion barrels of oil in our coastal waters.  These resources hold great potential for bringing new energy to the US market in the next five to ten years.


We believe Alaska has significant untapped potential and will play an increasingly important role in meeting the energy challenge in the future. Therefore, we re-entered Alaska in March 2005 by participating in the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lease Sale 195 and several others since.

Natural Gas

Some natural gas is trapped in reservoirs with very little space between the rock grains, restricting its flow. This makes it difficult and potentially expensive to extract the gas. We are developing technologies to overcome these challenges and help meet rising energy demand.


The Downstream organization is made up of a number of businesses. Collectively these turn crude oil into a range of refined products, which are moved and marketed around the world for domestic, industrial and transport use. The U.S. Downstream Business is comprised of those businesses that are downstream from the Exploration and Production of oil and gas.


Companies making up America’s oil and natural gas industry are some of the largest taxpayers in the U.S. and their overall tax expenses are significant. According to the Energy Information Agency, in 2007, the effective income tax rate of the major industry producers was 40.4% (based upon income tax expense of almost $85 billion), which was significantly higher than the statutory U.S. tax rate of 35%. However, even these amounts do not make up the full tax burden paid by these companies.

Additional taxes and fees, such as production taxes, import duties, and property taxes, paid by major industry producers in 2007 amounted to another $12 billion of revenue for various governments. Finally, just these companies alone collected and remitted to government agencies over $48 billion in excise taxes imposed on its products. All of these taxes generate a significant obstacle toward their ability to operate efficiently and stay competitive in the world market.