In his last year in office, Obama promised to be more bold (reckless?) in pushing his agenda, and one thing that has long irritated him about our great country is our consumption of oil.
To address this pet peeve of his, Obama has released a budget in which he proposes a $10 per barrel tax hike on oil; the money, he says, will go to boost the failed “green” energy economy for which he’s long pined. Never mind his embarrassing and costly past plans to boost the green energy sector.
President Obama will propose a $10-per-barrel fee on oil production to fund a new green transportation plan, the White House announced Thursday.
The proposal would go toward a $32.4 billion annual push to green the transportation sector by funding public transit, an urban planning initiative and clean vehicle research, the White House said in a fact sheet. Obama will include the plan in the budget request he releases next week.
The Hill continues:
[T]he proposal represents a new front in Obama’s climate change end-game: After finalizing carbon reduction regulations for the electricity sector last year, he is turning his attention back to the transportation sector, which accounts for 30 percent of American carbon emissions every year.
“The president’s plan does what we need to once again have a transportation system that is a source of American strength while at the same time taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change,” Jeff Zients, the director of the National Economic Council, told reporters Thursday.
Charging the fee to oil companies, the White House said, is both a funding mechanism for the transportation initiative and an incentive for the private sector to move toward cleaner fuel.
“By placing a fee on oil, the president’s plan creates a clear incentive for private sector innovation to reduce our reliance on oil and at the same time invests in clean energy technologies that will power our future,” the White House’s fact sheet said.
This all sounds good—at least to Obama’s base. However, the reality is that any tax on oil companies will be passed on to the consumer. This is not a tax on oil companies; it’s a tax on the American people.
And Obama knows it.
Watch then-Senator Obama explain how companies pass on the cost of his proposals to consumers:
Of course in 2008, before he was chosen by Obama to be Energy Secretary, Steven Chu made the famous comment that we “have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” As Newt Gingrich pointed out at the time, that’s about $9 or $10 per gallon.
This current five-year proposal for increasing taxes to reach $10 per barrel indicates that Obama has not abandoned his desire to see energy prices “skyrocket” and to do so “gradually.”
The Hill reports that the proposal is “dead on arrival” in the Republican-led House:
But Obama’s oil fee plan will likely fail in Congress, where Republicans have looked to both support the oil industry and prevent new taxes and fees proposed by Democrats and the Obama administration.
“President Obama’s proposed $10 per barrel tax on oil is dead on arrival in the House,” Majority Whip Steve Scales (R-La.) said in a statement. “The House will kill this absurd proposal, and instead focus on lowering costs and growing our economy.”
Let’s hope they do kill it; such a tax will hit the already struggling middle classes particularly hard.DONATE
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