The White House, which describes the tax as a “fee,” originally announced the proposal would charge oil companies $10.00 per barrel of oil. An earlier CRS analysis of that proposal concluded the plan would likely lower economic growth and raise costs to consumers. When the actual budget was unveiled on February 9, the administration increased the fee to $10.25. Details of the proposal remain ambiguous.
“This mathematical sleight of hand may look innocent, but that additional quarter actually raises the cost of the tax or ‘fee’ by nearly $8 billion,” Murkowski said. “Far from a rounding error, this increase would only put an additional burden on America’s oil producers, which dampens our domestic energy production.”
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will question Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on the Department of the Interior’s budget request for FY 2017 later this morning.