Obama administration officials have told several news-media outlets that the administration will soon announce plans for a $10-per-barrel oil tax for producers, prompting a quick backlash from GOP congressional leaders.
The White House officials said the tax proceeds would go toward funding green technology and building up infrastructure for alternative transport systems.
News website Politico said Obama will add the fee to his next budget proposal, which will be considered by Congress before passage. If passed, oil companies would be expected to pass the fee on to consumers instead of paying the tax out of their profit margins.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Commerce Committee Chairman emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX) said in a collective statement that they were shocked to hear about Obama’s proposal. The trio actually questioned whether this was an item taken from the satirical Onion newspaper.
“Good grief,” Upton said. “Jump-starting the economy by raising taxes is not a solution that will fly in the Republican Congress.”
Other Republican congressional leaders said it was an outrageous affront to consumers.
“The unbelievable audacity of President Obama to propose what equates to a new 30 percent tax on oil is dumbfounding,” Barton said. “This is not a path forward for clean energy – it is a budget-killing tax on hard-working American families.”
Whitfield called the president’s plan “reckless” and said it "pushes his green agenda at the expense of American consumers.”