Murkowski: Latest CRS analysis raises key oil tax questions

A new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report examines eight important questions about US President Barack Obama’s proposed crude oil tax, US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) said as she released a third CRS study following the president’s initial announcement (OGJ Online, Feb. 4, 2016).

“We have astonishingly few details about the president’s proposal, and the few details we do have all suggest that this tax or ‘fee’ would further imperil the American energy renaissance,” Murkowski said on Mar. 3. “We don’t even know if the administration’s own math works out.”

The report addressed eight “unaddressed” issues regarding what the White House calls a fee, including details related to production forecasts, inflation estimates, the point of collection, and the home heating oil subsidy program.

Revenue estimates for the $10.25/bbl oil fee appear in the president’s fiscal 2017 federal budget proposal, it noted. “The revenue estimates extend out to 2026, and as a result, are based on projections of US oil use,” the report said. “The basis of the oil quantity estimates, as well as how they are related to [US] Energy Information Administration projections, [is] not disclosed in the budget.”

Murkowski previously released CRS studies of the Obama’s proposed crude oil tax which the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s majority staff commissioned on Feb. 8 and Feb. 23.

“This report will not be the last as I continue to examine the potential impact of such a harmful policy that, whatever the details may be, is certain to harm domestic energy production,” the senator said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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