U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released a new analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Obama administration’s proposed tax on oil. The report outlines a list of significant unanswered questions and ambiguities in the proposal.
"We have astonishingly few details about the President’s proposal, and the few details we do have all suggest that this tax or ‘fee’ would further imperil the American energy renaissance,” Murkowski said. “We don’t even know if the administration’s own math works out. This report will not be the last as I continue to examine the potential impact of such a harmful policy that, whatever the details may be, is certain to harm domestic energy production.”
The latest report assesses eight “unaddressed” aspects of the “fee.” Details related to production forecasts, inflation estimates, the point of collection, the home heating oil subsidy program, and other areas are discussed. For example, the CRS report notes that “it is uncertain whether the realized revenues earned from the oil fee would be sufficient to cover the costs of the 21st Century Clean Transportation System, providing aid for families experiencing burdensome energy costs, as well as insuring the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, all goals stated in the President’s Budget Proposal.”
An earlier CRS analysis of that proposal concluded the plan would likely lower economic growth and raise costs for consumers. A second CRS report assessed that raising the cost of the fee from $10.00 per barrel, as originally floated by the President's key advisors, to $10.25 per barrel, which was the actual number in the budget, raised anticipated costs by approximately $8 billion.
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will question Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on the Department of Energy’s budget request for FY 2017 later this morning.