The Oklahoman – President Obama wants to take another swing against the U.S. oil and gas industry by imposing a $10 fee on every barrel of domestic oil produced in the country. As The Oklahoman’s Chris Casteel reported on Friday, it will be part of the President’s budget plan to be presented to Congress in the coming days.
“Frankly, I’m unsure why the president bothers to continue to send a budget to congress,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe in an interview with the newspaper. “He never submits one which balances, and even his own party members have not only voted against it but voted against it unanimously.”
He said it would be “dead on arrival.”
Word of the $10 a barrel oil fee came from White House economic adviser Jeff Zients who explained the fee will be phased in over five years and charged to oil companies. The money will be used to pay for improvements to the nation’s transportation system. But he was also unclear where the tax would be assessed.
Word of the proposed tax also was met with a denouncement from U.S. Sen. James Lankford.
“This is not only a higher tax, it is a new type of tax,” said the Senator. “Creating yet another type of gas tax would further complicate the tax code and raise prices on consumers.”
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan called it just another attack on the energy industry by the Obama administration.
Why the $10 tax on domestic oil? Zients said it would reduce carbon emissions because of a resulting cut in the use of fossil fuels in transportation. Senator Inhofe said he supports improvements in the nation’s transportation system but said the bi-partisan plan approved by congress is making them without raising taxes on what he called job creators.