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"Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future. That’s why the budget I will send to Congress this Tuesday will double funding for clean energy research and development by 2020."
"Once again, the president expects hardworking consumers to pay for his out of touch climate agenda. A $10 tax for every barrel of oil produced would raise energy prices—hurting poor Americans the most." —Speaker Paul Ryan
The White House on Tuesday delivers the final Obama administration budget plan to Congress, highlighted by a tax on oil companies that would be used to drive innovation in the transportation system—but leaders in Congress have already said the proposal will not even get a perfunctory hearing.
With an eye toward both improving the national infrastructure and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, President Obama’s “21st Century Clean Transportation System” proposes a $10 per barrel fee on oil, which would be gradually phased in over five years. The plan would increase American investments in clean transportation infrastructure by roughly 50 percent and also “encourage innovation and leadership” in clean technologies for the future.
The White House notes the success of the interstate highway system in connecting 20th century America and providing opportunity and prosperity—yet more recently that transportation system “imposes a hidden tax through congestion,” which costs families $160 billion and businesses almost $30 billion a year.
“What remains today of that system is not ready to meet the challenges of a growing 21st century economy,” says a fact sheet published last week explaining the budget plan. “What used to be the world’s leading transportation system is no longer even in the top 10.”
And in his weekly radio address, the president called for the private sector to help lead the way in bringing new technologies to market.
“As I said in my State of the Union address, rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future. That’s why the budget I will send to Congress this Tuesday will double funding for clean energy research and development by 2020,” Obama said. “This will include new investments to help the private sector create more jobs faster, lower the cost of clean energy faster, and help clean, renewable power outcompete dirty fuels in every state.”