WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama on Thursday proposed a controversial $10-a-barrel tax on oil firms to pay for much needed infrastructure improvements.
The $10 charge, phased in over five years, would be levied on companies — but the costs could well be passed on to consumers.
“For too long, bipartisan support for innovative and expansive transportation investment has not been accompanied by a long-term plan for paying for it,” the White House said in a statement.
The proposal comes amid current low oil prices and is also designed to wean Americans onto more climate-friendly fuels.
The plan is highly unlikely to pass muster in the Republican-controlled Congress.
“A $10 tax for every barrel of oil produced would raise energy prices-hurting poor Americans the most,” said Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan.
“The president should be proposing policies to grow our economy instead of sacrificing it to appease progressive climate activists.”