By Angela Wills
According to reports from USA Today, President Obama has plans to propose a $10 per-barrel oil tax next week. The announcement comes amid the unveiling of his new budget.
The predicted aim of the new tax is to “reduce carbon emissions and generate billions of dollars for mass-transit investments and self-driving vehicles.”
Although Jeff Zients, the White House economic adviser, acknowledges that the cost will more than likely be passed directly to consumers, USA Today reports that Obama will “also propose a relief fund for families affected by higher energy bills,” and that the tax would be spread out over five years.
Reportedly, the funds for the “relief fund” will come from the taxpayer, who will already be burdened by the rise in oil prices.
The tax could eventually require consumers to pay up to 25 cents more per gallon of gasoline, according to Politico. This means that an average sedan like a Toyota Corolla would cost an additional $3.10 to fill, while larger vehicles like the Honda Pilot, would cost an additional $4.87 to fill.
Reports from Politico also indicate that a memo from the White House said that the initiative would be “a clear incentive for private-sector innovation to reduce our reliance on oil and invest in clean energy technologies that will power our future.”
This is not a typical, nor expected strategy from President Obama, considering in 2011, he condemned higher gas prices during his speech at Georgetown University. It was during this speech that President Obama said, “Rising prices at the pump affect everybody…workers, farmers, truck drivers, restaurant owners, students who are lucky enough to have a car. Businesses… see rising prices at the pump hurt their bottom line. Families feel the pinch when they fill up their tank. And for Americans that are already struggling to get by, a hike in gas prices really makes their lives that much harder. It hurts.”
It was again at a speech he gave in February 2012, where he made similar remarks. “When gas prices go up, it hurts everybody. Everybody who owns a car, everybody who owns a business. It means you’ve gotta stretch a paycheck even further… High gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.”