President Obama has proposed an oil tax to fund transportation infrastructure in the United States, The Washington Post reported. The new $10 dollars per barrel tax, which is to be phased in over a five-year period, is expected to pay for several transportation projects such as railways, highways and projects related to energy efficient transportation. The tax is said to create money to support a cleaner transportation system in the U.S.
The White House, according to The Washington Post, presented the tax as an oil fee which would not only fund these new projects but help to maintain the country’s current transportation infrastructure. The idea behind the tax is to reduce the use of fossil fuels. The Washington Post reports that the decision is welcomed by economists and environmentalists, but is considered a bad move politically.
Republican opposition to the tax is strong. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan blamed President Obama for expecting “hardworking consumers to pay for his out of touch climate agenda,” and promised that the proposal would be killed in Congress.
White House hopes that the tax would motivate lawmakers to cut down on their fossil fuel use
According to USA Today, the tax would raise $32.4 billion dollars in additional spending. A portion of those funds would come from prohibiting business from keeping money earned in the U.S. overseas, a practice employed by some businesses to evade taxes. Also, the White House hopes that the tax would motivate state lawmakers to cut down on fossil fuel use.
President Obama’s economic adviser stated that despite bipartisan agreement on the need for more money in transportation infrastructure, no action has been taken by Congress. The proposed tax aims to create a solution for the issue. It is unlikely that the tax will be imposed due to fundamental differences between the Republicans and the Democrats on energy policy, global warming and the U.S. economy.