Sen. Murkowski Releases CRS Report on President Obama’s Proposed Oil Tax Hike

February 9, 2016
12:15 PM

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released a report prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) raising key questions about President Obama’s proposal to levy a new $10-per-barrel tax on oil.

“This report is only the beginning of the analytical work that my Committee staff will release as we review the administration’s budget proposal,” Murkowski said.

The report, commissioned by the majority staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, assesses the potential effects of the administration’s proposal and suggests impacts on gasoline prices, jobs, and the broader economy.

Among the key passages in the CRS report are the following:

"Analysts are likely to be concerned with the macroeconomic effects of the oil fee. These effects might include those on employment and jobs, economic growth, and inflation.”

“Since it is likely that the oil fee would be shifted forward by the oil companies, and since petroleum products enter into many products, consumers will likely see higher prices, not only directly for gasoline and other consumer products, but, in general, for many products to varying degrees.”

“In general, the fee would likely result in decreased discretionary consumer purchasing power which may translate into lower expected economic growth.”

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, noted that as indicated in the report by the White House National Economic Council, the $10-per-barrel oil tax “might result in a gasoline price increase of as much as $0.24 per gallon when fully implemented.” According  to the Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. price for regular gasoline is $1.76 per gallon. A $0.24 cent increase would result in a 14 percent increase in gas prices.

Full text of the CRS report is available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources website.