The US House of Representatives approved a resolution opposing President Barack Obama’s proposal to impose a $10.25/bbl tax on crude oil to support new transportation systems’ research and development. H. Con. Res 112 was approved on June 10 by a 234-177 vote, largely along party lines. Twenty-three Democrats joined Republicans in favor of it, while a single Republican voted with Democrats against it.
“The president has looked for every opportunity to kick the oil and gas industry while it’s down,” said Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), who introduced the bill that became the resolution on Feb. 9. “This proposed tax is another over-the-top attack that will be passed on at the pump to the very families who are out of work while the industry is struggling.”
Five days earlier, the Obama administration proposed a $10/bbl tax on crude to help pay for its plan to create a 21st Century Clean Transportation System (OGJ Online, Feb. 4, 2016). The projected amount rose to $10.25/bbl a few days later.
Leaders at the American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers separately applauded the House’s June 10 vote expressing opposition to Obama’s proposal.
“The House was right to oppose the president’s proposed $10.25/bbl, as it would have a damaging impact on consumers and our nation’s economy,” AFPM Pres. Chet Thompson said. “Higher energy prices mean less disposable income for life’s other necessities. The president’s proposal would be disruptive to American families and ultimately to the nation’s economy.”
Stephen Comstock, API tax and accounting policy director, said that the administration believes Americans are not paying enough for gasoline, so it proposed a tax which the Congressional Research Service estimates could raise the retail cost by as much as 25¢/gal. “This could harm consumers that are enjoying low energy prices, destroy American jobs, and reverse America’s emergence as a global energy leader,” he warned.
Daniel T. Naatz, IPAA’s senior vice-president of government relations and political affairs, said the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal 2017 budget attacks the US oil and gas industry and every American energy consumer. “The energy tax places our nation at a clear disadvantage against global oil cartels and unfriendly nations. A strong American oil and gas industry secures our place as a world leader in energy production,” he said.
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