Sen. Orrin Hatch, the GOP chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, criticized President Obama's proposed tax on crude oil Tuesday, calling it a bad policy for the nation and working families.
"Whether it's an increased per-barrel tax on oil production or higher per-gallon taxes charged on gasoline at the pump, the Obama administration seems intent on raising the cost of producing or consuming energy from fossil fuels, even if it means increased hardships on middle-class and lower income families," the Republican from Utah said during a hearing on energy tax subsidies.
Obama as part of his fiscal 2017 budget plan proposed a $10.25-per-barrel tax on crude oil. Hatch said he supports an all-of-the-above energy policy, but the government must not incentivize alternative sources of energy by raising the cost of conventional sources of energy such as petroleum and coal.
The tax on oil has been criticized for leading to higher energy prices for consumers, since companies would pass on the cost to consumers. Hatch added that Democrats' carbon tax proposals would lead to "higher taxes in the form of increased energy costs and reduced wages, relative to the cost of living."
The House last week passed two non-binding resolutions opposing the implementation of a carbon tax on fossil fuels and another opposing Obama's tax on oil.
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri introduced a similar measure last month to stop the idea of a carbon tax from getting any traction on Capitol Hill.
"Anyone who goes to the grocery store, flips a light switch or goes to the doctor would feel the effects, particularly the low and middle-income families that can least afford it," Blunt said last month. "Imposing a national tax on the types of energy we rely on most would drive up costs for hardworking families and run our economy into the ground.
"This resolution puts the Senate on record against a carbon tax, and I hope my colleagues will join me in protecting all Americans from this misguided policy," he said.
The resolution has 25 co-sponsors, including one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. It has not been slated for a vote or scheduled for a hearing in the Senate.